Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - The University of Minnesota has reportedly
hired Richard Pitino as the school's next men's basketball coach.
According to multiple reports -- including the StarTribune -- Pitino, the son
of Louisville head coach Rick Pitino, will replace Tubby Smith, who was fired
on March 25 after six seasons.
The 30-year-old recently completed one season as the head coach at Florida
International. He led the Panthers to an 18-14 record and an 11-9 mark in the
Sun Belt Conference, which included an appearance in the tournament title
game. It was FIU's first winning season in 13 years.
Prior to his stint with the Panthers, Pitino spent the 2011-12 season with his
father at Louisville and was the team's associate head coach. He also served
as an assistant coach for the Cardinals from 2007-09 before joining the staff
at Florida as an assistant from 2009-11. His other coaching stints include
working at Duquesne and Northeastern.
Former Golden Gophers coach Smith, who was hired to lead Texas Tech's men's
basketball program on Monday, led Minnesota to a record of 21-13 this past
season, which concluded in the third round of the NCAA Tournament with a 78-64
loss to Florida.
The Gophers were 124-81 and never had a losing season under Smith, who signed
a contract extension through the 2016-17 season last July.
Minnesota athletic director Norwood Teague has a history of success in hiring
and working with young coaches -- including VCU's Shaka Smart and Alabama's
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