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Rick Pitino Announces Plans to Leave Louisville After 2016-17 Season

LOUISVILLE, KY - DECEMBER 23:  Rick Pitino the head coach of the Louisville Cardinals gives instructions to his team during the game against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers at KFC YUM! Center on December 23, 2011 in Louisville, Kentucky. Louisville won 70-60.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Kyle VassaloFeatured ColumnistDecember 27, 2011

Rick Pitino is taking the guesswork out of when he's going to retire as head coach of Louisville's basketball team.

According to CBS Sports' Evan Hilbert, Pitino said, “When you're 59, you're realistic that you don't have a lot of years left. My contract runs out in 2017—I'm not coaching anymore after that.”

Pitino has made it seem like he would be a lifer in the coaching world, but this is a far more realistic end point to the legendary coach's career.

This still gives Louisville fans five solid seasons with Pitino and plenty of time before they need to start worrying about Pitino's successor.

Just because Pitino isn't going to be at the helm for the next 30 years doesn't mean Louisville fans need to get down in the dumps. It's unclear what the future holds for the program, but it's not of the utmost importance at this time.

Pitino didn't announce that he's resigning any time soon or bailing on his contract before it's up. He provided a realistic timeline for his departure and has given Louisville fans plenty of time to prepare for the end of this era.

For now, fans need to simply enjoy the ride. The future will take care of itself.

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