Basketball coach Pitino now a Dunkin' franchisee

LEXINGTON Ky. College basketball coach Rick Pitino is teaming up with two of his former players to open Dunkin' Donut units in central Kentucky, according to a report in the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Pitino, who coaches the No. 13-ranked Louisville Cardinals, and Jamal Mashburn and Walter McCarty, who played under him when he coached at the University of Kentucky, have formed Fast Break Doughnuts LLC.  The franchise group, which also includes Pitino's financial adviser, Rick Avare, has plans to open 17 Dunkin' Donuts units over the next several years.

Their first unit is expected to open here in May.

Pitino, Mashburn and Avare have teamed up for other restaurant ventures, including one that operates 35 Outback Steakhouses throughout California. Mashburn, McCarty and Avare also are partners in a franchise company that operates 28 Papa John's units, according to the Herald-Leader.