Fans swarm The Bookstore in Radcliff to see Pitino

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By Nathaniel Bryan

Rick Pitino’s latest literary motivational work is anything but new.


While “The One-Day Contract: How to Add Value to Every Minute of Your Life” came out last week, the championship-winning men’s college basketball coach said Tuesday the 272-page book isn’t solely about new revelations following Louisville’s NCAA Tournament championship in April.

“I think it’s the best we’ve written, but I wrote it two years ago, because I was considering – for the first time – getting out of coaching and going into broadcasting,” Pitino told the more than 200 fans in attendance at The Bookstore in Radcliff.

Pitino said the basis for his sixth book came from a conversation with his spouse, Joanne Minardi. His previous five books were entitled “Rebound Rules,” “Lead to Succeed,” “Full-Court Pressure,” “Born to Coach” and his New York Times No. 1 bestseller, “Success is a Choice.”

“I went home to my wife and said, ‘What do you think?’” Pitino recalled. “She said, ‘You go to bed at night, dreaming about the next day coaching and then you spend the entire day coaching and you’ll miss your best friend.’”

The conversation gave Pitino a new attitude. And later, a book title.

“I said at that time, ‘I’m going to change my entire way of thinking in life,’” said Pitino, who authored the book along with former Courier-Journal writer and columnist Eric Crawford. “I said, ‘I will live and coach on a one-day contract.’”

He had The Bookstore crowd intently listening to every word until the punch line.

“And if I’m good that one day, I’ll get renewed,” Pitino said, drawing a room full of laughs. “And if I’m not good, I may get fired.”

According to MacMillan Publishers, the new book helps readers focus on five keys: Establish focus as a discipline in everything you do, discover the true key to success, use technology wisely, own up to your problems and make small changes and add value to every minute of your life.

“I think you’ll see the whole theme of the book is based on if you have one day, whatever you’re doing, sign on to that contact,” Pitino said. “So read it and I think you’ll enjoy it. I think you’ll get motivated. It motivated me to be the best I could be for a 24-hour period.”

Pitino’s appearance motivated 57-year-old Joseph Fargnoli to wear a hockey jersey from Providence College, where Pitino got his collegiate coaching start. Fargnoli is a native of Providence, R.I.

“I haven’t written ‘Go Friars’ in a while,” Pitino quipped.

Fargnoli, who was stationed at Fort Knox when Pitino was still coaching Kentucky in 1987, said he was proud of both men’s past.

“I went to see Rick several times at the (Providence) Civic Center,” said Fargnoli, a retired military man lives in Hardin County with his wife, Rineyville native Susie.

Elizabethtown resident Margaret Martin ordered the book more than two months ago so she could be among the first in line Tuesday.

The signing also motivated State Sen. Dennis Parrett, D-Elizabethtown, and Radcliff Mayor J.J. Duvall to step in and serve as banner holders for the Vine Grove couple of Ruby and Elroy Cecil. The banner had been hanging from the ceiling, but with so much foot traffic, it got hit so much the wire broke.

Pitino talked about the book before giving fans a teaser about this coming season as the Cardinals return several key pieces from last season’s first men’s basketball title since 1986.

“Today, I got renewed,” Pitino said. “We had two great practices and I’m going to sign on for tomorrow.”

Nathaniel Bryancan be reached at 270-505-1758 or nbryan@thenewsenterprise.com.