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Gophers to hire Ben Johnson as new head coach

Johnson is a Minnesota alum and former assistant on Richard Pitino's staff.
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The Minnesota Golden Gopher men's basketball team will hire Xavier assistant Ben Johnson as their new head coach.

Johnson played for the Gophers for two seasons and graduated in 2004. As a two-time captain and Minneapolis native, Johnson went on to spend time as an assistant at Northern Iowa and Nebraska before returning to Minnesota prior to the 2013-14 season.

Johnson spent five seasons on Richard Pitino's staff before heading to Xavier in 2018. The Musketeers had recruiting classes that were ranked 29th in 2019 and 24th in 2020 by 247 Sports during Johnson's two seasons at the school.

“Ben is an outstanding coach and recruiter that will be a very successful head coach one day,” said head coach Travis Steele via the Xavier website. “Ben is ‘Steady Eddy,’ he just is. He is the same guy every day. He is highly intelligent, very well thought out. He’s very good at everything."

Johnson, 39, will replace Pitino, who was fired after eight seasons with the Gophers last week.

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