Could Brian Dutcher be Gophers target to replace Richard Pitino?

Dutcher's contract has a buyout clause that could lead him to Minnesota.
Brian Dutcher

As the Minnesota Golden Gopher men's basketball team wraps up its season, the tenure of Richard Pitino may also be coming to an end. With rumors flying about Pitino's future, the Gophers may be on the hunt for his replacement.

An interesting name to follow could be San Diego State head coach Brian Dutcher. Dutcher is the son of Jim, who spent 11 seasons (1975-86) at Minnesota and led the Gophers to their last official Big Ten title during the 1981-82 season.

His lineage may be one reason the Gophers would be interested. The other may be the buyout clause in Dutcher's contract.

According to the San Diego-Union Tribune, the buyout for Dutcher's contract is $6.9 million ... unless he goes to Minnesota. Should Dutcher become the Gophers' new head coach, the university would pay a $1 million buyout.

“It’s Minnesota,” Wicker said when Dutcher signed a contract extension last September. “It means so much to him and his family. I feel comfortable if that’s something he really wanted to do, then OK. But I fully feel he has a better opportunity of being successful at San Diego State than he does in Minnesota. It would mean that he would want to go back for family-type reasons.”

The cost may be a factor in whether the Gophers decide to fire Pitino. The university had to make several cuts in the athletic department last fall and Pitino carries a $2.5 million buyout if he's fired before Apr. 30.

Dutcher has turned the Aztecs into a powerhouse during his four seasons at SDSU. The Aztecs have gone 93-30 under Dutcher including a 30-2 record during the 2019-20 season. 

Dutcher's success, which includes three Mountain West Conference championships, would be welcomed at Minnesota. The Gophers are currently in their seventh losing season in the Big Ten during Pitino's eight seasons as head coach. 

The Gophers started this season with an 11-4 record, but have lost nine of their past 11 games entering Saturday's regular-season finale against Rutgers.

The latest forecast from Sven Sundgaard

Next Up

Kirill Kaprizov

Wild score 5 unanswered goals to sweep Sharks

The Sharks scored first but the Wild stormed back in a 5-2 victory.

Rocco Baldelli

Twins-Angels postponed Saturday and Sunday due to COVID

Outfielder Kyle Garlick and one other player tested positive on Saturday.


Curfew set at 11 p.m. in Brooklyn Center, Champlin Saturday

More protests are expected in Brooklyn Center.

Image from iOS (1)

Victim killed in multi-vehicle crash that closed Hwy. 62 ID'd as woman, 23

The four-vehicle crash closed the eastbound highway for several hours.

protest, Daunte Wright, Brooklyn Center

Photographer reports being maced and punched by police, other journalists detained

It came just hours after a court order prevented law enforcement from using force against the news media.


Police move in swiftly to make arrests on 6th night of Daunte Wright protests

What started out peaceful took a turn as the night drew in.


Richard Pitino

Gophers part ways with Richard Pitino

Pitino is out after eight seasons in Minnesota.

Richard Pitino

Report: Richard Pitino to return to Gophers

The men's head basketball coach will reportedly be back for an eighth season.

Richard Pitino

Talk grows that this season will be Pitino's last at Gophers

A report says Pitino's tenure could be "down to his final games."

Richard Pitino

Report: Richard Pitino interviewed for New Mexico job

No formal announcement has been made on Pitino's future in Minnesota.

Brock Lesnar

Richard and Rick Pitino make bet over Brock Lesnar's WrestleMania match

Riding on the bet is the location of a potential Gophers-Iona matchup.

Screen Shot 2021-03-22 at 8.48.22 PM

Gophers to hire Ben Johnson as new head coach

Johnson is a Minnesota alum and former assistant on Richard Pitino's staff.

Marcus Carr

Why the Gophers could be in line for a high seed in the NCAA Tournament

The Gophers are done with a brutal stretch and are poised to make a run.

Marcus Carr / Gopher basketball

Gophers tourney hopes take another blow with loss to Nebraska

Marcus Carr scored a career-high 41 points, but Minnesota is still winless on the road.