With Richard vs. Rick Pitino set for next season here’s a look at history of sons coaching against fathers

History has shown that the father knows best, but New Mexico coach Richard Pitino will try to change that when the Lobos host his father, Rick Pitino, and the Iona Gaels on Dec. 18. Rick Pitino made the announcement for tweeting a photo with his arm around a known Lobo fan nicknamed Snake.

The game in Albuquerque, New Mexico, is the first of a home-and-home series, meaning the Lobos will travel to New York during the 2023-24 season.

“Get ready (Snake), the Gaels are coming to town on December 18!” read the tweet.

Pitino’s coaches have been mock the idea to play with each other since Richard Pitino was hired in New Mexico last year. The father showed his support for his son’s new team during the 2021-22 season by attending the Lobos’ state rivalry game against the New Mexico State Aggies last December. But this coming December, he won’t be sitting in the stands as he cheers on with Lobo fans.

This will be the third time in their coaching careers that they have sat on opposite benches.

Rick Pitino is 2-0 against his son, and both wins came while he was managing the Louisville Cardinals. The first time was during the 2012-13 season when Richard Pitino was a first-year coach at the Florida International. The Panthers struggled to keep up, resulting in a 79-55 victory for the then No. 4 Cardinals.

The second time came in 2014 at the Armed Forces Classic when Richard Pitino was in his second year managing the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Louisville entered that game ranked No. 8 in the country and walked away with a comfortable 81-68 win. Montrezl Harrell, who is currently with the Charlotte Hornets, put in a 30-point performance for the Cardinals that night.

But maybe the third time will be the charm for Richard Pitino.

There have been 20 games in Division I college basketball history with a father and son training against each other. The Padres usually come out on top, as evidenced by their 18-2 record. The lopsided stat began with Ed Diddle in Western Kentucky facing his son Ed Diddle Jr.’s Middle Tennessee State team 12 times between 1957 and 1962. Diddle Sr. won 11 of those games.

The most recent father/son competition was on Dec. 23, 2017. That one actually involved three family members, as coach Tubby Smith and his middle son Saul Smith, an assistant coach on his father’s Memphis staff , led the Tigers to an 83-71 victory against the Loyola (Maryland) Greyhounds, a team led by eldest son GG Smith. That was the second time Tubby and GG Smith met as head coaches. The father, who coached Texas Tech the first time around, also won their 2014 meet.

While the all-time father-son record is in favor of the fathers, this does not mean that there is no hope that Richard Pitino will finally win against his father this year. He has a fair amount of experience as a head coach since the last meeting with him. The Wolves will also play the game at The Pit, an arena historically known as a tough spot for opponents when fans show up. Rick Pitino has trained there several times, with the last game being an Elite Eight victory over West Virginia in 2005.

Richard Pitino is not the only one on his team following in his father’s footsteps. Jamal Mashburn Jr. and Jaelen House are the children of former NBA players. Mashburn Jr. and House finished the season as New Mexico’s leading scorers with 18.2 and 16.9 points per game, respectively. Although House is testing the waters of the NBA, both are expected to return next season.

Interestingly, the Mashburn/Pitino combination has proven successful in the past. Rick Pitino’s 1992-93 Kentucky team reached the Final Four for the first time on the show since 1984 with Mashburn Sr. on the roster. The furthest New Mexico has gone in the NCAA Tournament is the Sweet Sixteen round in 1968 and 1974. Perhaps Rick Pitino can share more on that, after the Dec. 18 game, of course.

Here are the all-time father-son coach matchups according to the New Mexico sports information department:

Date Father Son Outcome
January 30th
1957
EA Diddle
western Kentucky
Ed Diddle Jr.
Middle Tennessee
western Kentucky
79-72
February 20th
1957
EA Diddle
western Kentucky
Ed Diddle Jr.
Middle Tennessee
western Kentucky
86-82
January 23
1958
EA Diddle
western Kentucky
Ed Diddle Jr.
Middle Tennessee
western Kentucky
69-67
18th of February
1958
EA Diddle
western Kentucky
Ed Diddle Jr.
Middle Tennessee
Middle Tennessee
81-75
January 19
1959
EA Diddle
western Kentucky
Ed Diddle Jr.
Middle Tennessee
western Kentucky
89-65
February 28th
1959
EA Diddle
western Kentucky
Ed Diddle Jr.
Middle Tennessee
western Kentucky
110-85
February 6th
1960
EA Diddle
western Kentucky
Ed Diddle Jr.
Middle Tennessee
western Kentucky
109-89
February 27
1960
EA Diddle
western Kentucky
Ed Diddle Jr.
Middle Tennessee
western Kentucky
109-80
December 1st
1960
EA Diddle
western Kentucky
Ed Diddle Jr.
Middle Tennessee
western Kentucky
70-67
February 25
1961
EA Diddle
western Kentucky
Ed Diddle Jr.
Middle Tennessee
western Kentucky
84-73
January 20
1962
EA Diddle
western Kentucky
Ed Diddle Jr.
Middle Tennessee
western Kentucky
89-69
February 10, 1962 EA Diddle
western Kentucky
Ed Diddle Jr.
Middle Tennessee
western Kentucky
87-81
December 1st
1981
Ray Mayer
DePaul
tom meyer
Illinois-Chicago
DePaul
78-53
January 6th
1994
Butch van Breda Kolff
Cornell
Jan van Breda Kolff
hofstra
hofstra
70-56
November 26
1994
Hugh Durham
Georgia
Doug Durham
south georgia
Georgia
87-57
November 17
2000
nolan richardson
Arkansas
Nolan Richardson III
state of tennessee
Arkansas
90-68
Decembre 19th
2012
Rick Pitino
louisville
Ricardo Pitino
FIU
louisville
79-55
November 14th
2014
Rick Pitino
louisville
Ricardo Pitino
Minnesota
louisville
81-68
November 14th
2014
plump smith
texas tech
G.G. Smith
Loyola-Maryland
texas tech
71-59
December 23th
2017
plump smith
memphis
G.G. Smith
Loyola-Maryland
memphis
83-71

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