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Reports: Minnesota to part ways with coach Richard Pitino

Sam Cooper
·3 min read
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Richard Pitino’s time at the University of Minnesota has reportedly come to an end.

According to multiple reports, Minnesota is expected to part ways with Pitino. The news was first reported by Stadium’s Jeff Goodman.

Pitino recently wrapped up his eighth season at Minnesota. The Gophers started the year 11-4 and had a 4-4 mark in Big Ten play after upsetting No. 7 Michigan on Jan. 16. Things went downhill from there, however. Minnesota would lose 10 of its final 12 regular season games, including back-to-back losses to Big Ten bottom-feeders Northwestern and Nebraska.

Those losses pushed the Gophers off the NCAA tournament bubble and the hot-seat chatter around Pitino increased. His team would close out the regular season with seven consecutive losses. The Gophers edged Northwestern in the first round of the Big Ten tournament, but the season concluded with a loss to Ohio State in the tournament’s second round.

Minnesota head coach Richard Pitino on the bench in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Ohio State at the Big Ten Conference tournament in Indianapolis, Thursday, March 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Minnesota head coach Richard Pitino on the bench in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Ohio State at the Big Ten Conference tournament in Indianapolis, Thursday, March 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Pitino, the son of longtime college head coach Rick Pitino, landed at Minnesota in 2013 following one season as head coach at Florida International and stints as an assistant at Louisville and Florida.

Pitino led the Gophers to an NIT title in his first year and NCAA tournament berths in 2017 and 2019. But there were also four losing seasons sprinkled in, including a miserable 8-23 mark in 2016 and only once did Pitino coach the Gophers to an above-.500 record in Big Ten play. In all, Pitino amassed a 141-123 record with just a 54-96 conference record over his time at Minnesota.

Pitino may not be without a job for long. His name has surfaced as a candidate at New Mexico. Former Nebraska coach Tim Miles is also reportedly in the mix for the UNM job.

New Mexico announced it would not retain coach Paul Weir on Feb. 26.

Busy day in college basketball

Following the conclusion of conference tournaments and the reveal of the NCAA tournament bracket, the coaching carousel began spinning on Monday morning.

The first news to drop was Penn State's reported hire of Purdue assistant Micah Shrewsberry. Shrewsberry, currently the assistant head coach at Purdue under Matt Painter, has had two stints as an assistant with the Boilermakers. He also coached under Brad Stevens at Butler and with the Boston Celtics.

Elsewhere in the Big Ten, Indiana announced the firing of Archie Miller after four seasons.

On top of that, Yahoo Sports' Pete Thamel is reporting that Boston College will hire College of Charleston coach Earl Grant as its next coach.

And in the Big East, DePaul is reportedly moving on from Dave Leitao after six seasons. It was Leitao's second stint as DePaul's head coach. The Blue Demons went just 5-14 this season.

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