There is an opening on the Gopher men's basketball coaching staff, but it's not because Richard Pitino is leaving. Multiple media reports indicate that Gophers assistant coach Dan McHale will become the head coach at Eastern Kentucky University.
McHale has been Pitino's top assistant the past two years. Prior to that he spent three years working as an assistant under Kevin Willard at Seton Hall.
"I'm excited to take on a new challenge and represent a great university in Eastern Kentucky," McHale told the Star Tribune's Amelia Rayno. "I'm just ready for the next part of my journey. I couldn't have done this without coach Pitino and everything we've done at the University of Minnesota."
McHale has ties to Kentucky. He graduated from the University of Kentucky in 2001. The Pioneer Press notes that he was also a graduate assistant under Rick Pitino at Louisville
The Colonels have been in the NCAA tournament three times since 2000 – most recently in 2014. Eastern Kentucky was 21-12 last season, but lost to Belmont in the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament. They did win two games in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament, but were beaten by Tennessee-Martin.