Skip to main content

Richard Pitino is the Big Ten Coach of the Year

The Gopher men's basketball team had one of it's best season's in program history.

No one ever said being a college basketball coach was easy. Less than a year ago, there were many fans who wanted to see Gophers basketball coach Richard Pitino fired.

Less than a year later, he has been named the Big Ten Coach of the Year.

The conference made the announcement Monday – one day after Minnesota's regular season ended with a loss at Wisconsin.

Pitino led the Gophers to a double-bye in the Big Ten Tournament, Minnesota finished the regular season at 23-8 and 11-7 in Big Ten play. He becomes the second Minnesota coach to earn the award – the first since Jim Dutcher in 1981-82.

The Gophers won eight of their final nine Big Ten games and managed the best win improvement in the NCAA and in program history – improving 15 victories over last season.

Pitino wasn't alone though, he had some help and several Gophers were recognized with Big Ten Conference Awards on Monday.

After a bye through the first two rounds the Gophers open Big Ten Tournament play Friday afternoon against either Nebraska, Penn State or Michigan State.

Minnesota enters the postseason with a Top 20 RPI and strength of schedule. They are considered a lock to make their first NCAA Tournament since 2013.

Next Up

image

Animal Humane Society plans trailblazing new campus

Take a look inside the plans for a first-of-its-kind adoption center and animal care campus.

syphilis

Minnesota reports 'concerning level' of syphilis cases

The Minnesota Department of Health says most of the cases are being discovered in the northern part of the state.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Airport police intercept 5,600 fentanyl pills headed to St. Cloud

Three were arrested following a police raid in St. Cloud.

covid

Minnesota switches to weekly COVID updates

The weekly updates will be provided on Thursdays.

Screen Shot 2022-06-29 at 12.22.08 PM

Man shot inside Oakdale movie theater expected to survive

The 23-year-old victim underwent surgery and is recovering at the hospital.

monkeypox

Minnesota confirms second case of monkeypox virus

More cases are expected in the coming days and weeks, the health department says.

covid

Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Wednesday, June 29

One of the newly reported deaths was a person aged 15-19 from Yellow Medicine County.

Screen Shot 2022-06-29 at 10.19.37 AM

Drone drops bag of candy near kids fishing

A black SUV quickly left the area afterwards.

FLickr - AL Franken 2016 - Lorie Shaull

Al Franken to bring comedy tour to Minneapolis

Acme Comedy is hosting the former senator in late August.

Alabama

Alabama replaces Toby Keith as headliner at MN music festival

The Lakefront Music Festival is set to take place in Prior Lake on July 8-9.

Related

Richard Pitino is the Big Ten Coach of the Year

The Gopher men's basketball team had one of it's best season's in program history.

Gophers getting top 15 hype in early hoops projections for 2017-18

There's a lot of hype over the Gopher men's basketball team.

Gophers getting top 15 hype in early hoops projections for 2017-18

There's a lot of hype over the Gopher men's basketball team.

Is Amir Coffey the best freshman in the Big Ten?

Freshman Amir Coffey is making a big first impression for the Gophers.

Is Amir Coffey the best freshman in the Big Ten?

Freshman Amir Coffey is making a big first impression for the Gophers.

Pitino says meeting his dad's team in the tourney would be 'the lamest thing ever'

Could Minnesota be headed towards a March matchup with Louisville?

Pitino says meeting his dad's team in the tourney would be 'the lamest thing ever'

Could Minnesota be headed towards a March matchup with Louisville?

Gophers have 100-to-1 odds of winning The Big Dance

Las Vegas is starting to take notice of the Gophers quick improvement.