BLAZING START: Richard Pitino Is Dressed for Success

Putting on the Ritz: UNM athletic director Eddie Nuñez helps new Lobo men’s basketball coach Richard Pitino don his cherry-red blazer at last week’s news conference (Mark Smith/Enchantment Sports).

By Mark Smith
Enchantment Sports
Editor in Chief

It wasn’t exactly like running down the Pit ramp for the first time, but Richard Pitino got his initial taste of what University of New Mexico basketball means to so many last week at University Stadium.

Pitino, hired two days earlier to replace ousted Paul Weir as Lobo men’s basketball coach, had his debut news conference on Thursday at the socially distanced stadium.

Lobo athletic director Eddie Nuñez introduced Pitino, then presented him with a red blazer.

Both Nuñez and Pitino spoke of the meaning of the blazer, the Pit and what Lobo basketball means to the community. They also talked about the budding relationship between Pitino and second-year Lobo football coach Danny Gonzales, and the importance of the two programs feeding off of each other.

Enchantment Sports had a short interview with Gonzales after the news conference.

Here is that interview and soundbites from Pitino, with his answers to the two questions from Enchantment Sports editor in chief Mark Smith.

By the way, immediately after the news conference Nuñez pointed out Pitino’s blazer came from Albuquerque’s Suits Unlimited.

Steve Garcia, president of the family-owned store, said he got a call from Nuñez on Tuesday and immediately went into action to get the sport coat to UNM by Thursday morning.

“It was a quick turnaround, that’s for sure,” Garcia, who attended the event, said with a laugh.

And what about Lobo fans hoping to get one for themselves?

“No problem,” Garcia said. “We used to provide them for the Lobo Club. We’d be happy to get one for any fan who wants one.”

And for a red-hot deal Garcia said.

The price is only $140, which is pretty tough to beat for a high-quality blazer.

Lobo football coach Danny Gonzales talks about the importance of the relationship between his program and Lobo basketball.
Richard Pitino — “How about the red blazer?”
Many Lobo coaches have been able to win in the Pit, but have have struggled on the road in the Mountain West. What will it take to do the latter?

Richard Pitino talks about scheduling his dad, Rick Pitino, for a possible game in the Pit.

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