Skip to main content

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

Screen Shot 2022-10-02 at 8.25.27 PM

Pilot, brother and sister killed when plane crashed into house are ID'd

The plane crashed into a house in Hermantown, Minnesota.

Screen Shot 2022-10-02 at 7.18.52 PM

Rolled semi, livestock on freeway interchange in Woodbury

Traffic cameras showed what appeared to be hogs on the side of the road.

Eric Reinbold

Reinbold guilty of murdering wife with 'particular cruelty'

Eric Reinbold, 46, was convicted of two counts of murder in the second degree in Pennington County Friday.

police tape

Armed assault suspect arrested after standoff in Waite Park

The standoff ended early Saturday when officer obtained a warrant for the home.

Screen Shot 2022-10-02 at 9.06.25 AM

3 dead after plane crashes into house in Hermantown

Two people in the house were uninjured.

FeDh7pUWAAg3NMd

Destructive fire at Maple Grove greenhouse and nursery

The fire burned early Sunday morning at a longtime Maple Grove greenhouse and nursery.

st. cloud state university hockey

SCSU player hospitalized after being taken off ice on stretcher

Luedtke was checked into the boards in the first period and down for a reported 10-15 minutes.

Amber alert wisconsin

Amber Alert for Kryssy King canceled, suspect still at large

Police beleived 15-year-old Kryssy King was with a 22-year-old man who remains wanted.

Screen Shot 2022-10-01 at 10.18.12 AM

3 St. Paul fast food restaurants robbed in space of an hour

The thieves struck between 7:15 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Screen Shot 2022-10-01 at 9.06.40 AM

What to do with the Kmart site? Minneapolis wants your ideas

The project will connect Nicollet Avenue south of Lake street and north of the Midtown Greenway, reestablishing a street grid.

Screen Shot 2022-10-01 at 7.53.55 AM

Crowd evacuated at end of homecoming football game in Brooklyn Park

Police blamed 'unruly teens' in the stands and some who were trying to enter the stadium.

Related

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.