Richard Pitino to Coach Minnesota Golden Gophers
NCAA College Basketball
Fort Myers, FL
Richard Pitino has reached an understanding in principle to coach the Minnesota Golden Gophers.
Pitino, 30, replaced Isiah Thomas as coach of the Florida International University Golden Panthers last year.
Under him, FIU ranked fifth in the nation in turnover percentage with 25.6, a 123-spot improvement over the previous year. The net result was 10 more wins and the Golden Panthers' first winning season in 13 years with only three scholarship players on the roster. The team finished fifth in the Sun Belt Conference with a surprising 11-9 record, and 18-14 overall.
The Golden Panthers shocked favorite Middle Tennessee State in the conference tournament semifinals before losing the automatic NCAA berth to Western Kentucky.
Richard Pitino was also a former Louisville assistant who also has served as an assistant at Florida and Providence.
But with the 2012-13 season being his only head coaching season, Pitino does not have a whole lot of head coaching experience.
Richard was with his father Rick Pitino, who was coaching the Louisville Cardinals, in Indianapolis Sunday. They went to see Kevin Ware in an Indianapolis hospital Monday.
Minnesota athletic director Norwood Teague fired Tubby Smith last week after Smith led the Gophers to a round of 64 win over UCLA and a round of 32 loss to Florida. Smith was hired this week by Texas Tech.
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