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Report: Richard Pitino to return to Gophers

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

Gophers men's basketball head coach Richard Pitino will return to the team next season.  Pitino wrapped up his seventh season with the Gophers earlier this week, which saw his team post a disappointing 15-16 record and an 8-12 mark that was good for 12th in the Big Ten.

Despite the disappointment, KSTP-TV's Darren Wolfson said last week that athletic director Mark Coyle was not ready to make a move and doubled down with the announcement of Pitino's return.

"Coach Pitino and I met [Friday]," Coyle said in a statement confirming the move. "Richard understands my high expectations for our program, which is to compete at a championship level."

The retention of Pitino comes one year after he signed a two-year extension following the Gophers' win over Louisville in the NCAA tournament last March. 

Although the overall performance was disappointing, there were positives including a season sweep over Ohio State, an 18-point win over co-Big Ten Champion Wisconsin and a pair of blowout victories over Nebraska and Northwestern to close out the season.

There's also the possibility of reinforcements coming to the Gophers in the next couple seasons with Pitino landing Jamaal Mashburn Jr. in 2020 and Alexandria's Treyton Thompson in 2021.

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