Gophers fire longtime women's basketball coach Pam Borton

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University of Minnesota athletics director Norwood Teague announced this afternoon that longtime women's basketball coach Pam Borton has been fired.

"Pam has had many successful seasons at the University of Minnesota, but we feel it is time to look at another leader to position this program for long-term success," Teague said in a statement, via GopherSports.com. "We are grateful to Pam and her staff for their hard work and dedication to this University, our students and the entire Minnesota community. We wish Pam well."

Borton and the Gophers lost to South Dakota State in the third-round of the National Invitation Tournament on Thursday, putting an end to a fifth consecutive season without a trip to the NCAA tournament.

"I am grateful for my 12 seasons at the University of Minnesota. This is a great state and University, and I have enjoyed becoming a part of this community," Borton said in the statement. "I want to thank my players and staff over the years. We've accomplished a lot together and they have made the experience truly special. I want to give a special thanks to our current players and staff. They are a great group and I have enjoyed coaching and working with them every day."

The Gophers went 236-152 under Borton.

Borton's career as head coach at the University of Minnesota began before the start of the 2002-03 season. In 2004, Borton used top-notch players Lindsey Whalen and Janel McCarville, both of whom now play for the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx, to make a memorable run to the NCAA Final Four. Minnesota reached the NCAA tournament in six of Borton's first seven seasons, but haven't been back since 2009.

According to the Star Tribune, Borton is due a $335,000 buyout. Former Gophers athletics director Joel Maturi gave Borton an extension in 2012 that had her under contract through the 2015-16 season. The extension came just before Maturi stepped down from his post and was replaced by Teague.

Assistant coach Kelly Roysland takes over as the interim coach, with a search for a new head coach beginning immediately.

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