Richard Pitino hired to coach Gophers


It took nine days for the Gophers to find a replacement for Tubby Smith.

Richard Pitino -- son of legendary Louisville coach Rick Pitino -- will lead the Gophers onto the Williams Arena floor next season.

The University of Minnesota confirmed that Pitino reached an agreement in principal Wednesday afternoon. Details of the contract are unknown.

Earlier, WCCO-TV was first to report that Pitino was interested in the job, and later confirmed a verbal agreement.

At just 30 years old, Pitino becomes the youngest head coach in the history of Gophers basketball, dating all the way back to 1897.

Pitino leaves his post as head coach at Florida International University, where this past season -- his first as a head coach -- FIU finished 18-14 overall and 11-9 in the Sun Belt Conference. It was FIU's first winning season in 13 years.

Prior to that he was the associated head coach at Louisville, and an assistant under Billy Donovan at Florida.

Tom Powers of the Pioneer Press is not a fan of the hire. He wonders what the situation would be if Richard didn't have the Pitino name behind him.

Bob Sansevere believes the Pitino name has a chance to help Richard in the Big Ten.

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