Gopher coach Richard Pitino

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It's two more seasons for Richard Pitino with Gopher men's hoops

He's under contract now throgh 2023-24

April 07, 2019 - 12:08 pm

Gopher men's basketball coach Richard Pitino has agreed to a two-year contract extension, keeping him with the program through the 2023-24 season.

Pitino just wrapped up his sixth season with the Gophers, leading them to the second round of the NCAA tournament.

His record with the Gophers is 112-91, including 40-70 in Big Ten games, and has put together three 20-win seasons.

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The son of Hall of Fame basketball coach Rick Pitino, the 35-year-old Pitino came to Minnesota in 2013 after Tubby Smith was fired.

Pitino had only one season as a college head coach, that coming at Florida Atlantic.

In his first season with the Gophers, Pitino led the team to a 25-13 record and the NIT championship.

Following his last contract extension in 2017, Pitino had an annual salary of $2.2 million.

Pitino released a statement after reaching the agreement:

        "My family and I have loved living in the Twin Cities the last six years. We have met so many wonderful, supportive people.  It's an honor to be able to continue to lead this Gopher basketball program.  I enjoy working with my athletics director, Mark Coyle, every day.  I would like to thank Mark, President Kaler, and the University for continuing to believe in me. I look forward to continuing to move this special program forward."

The extension comes at a critical time for Pitino's recruiting efforts.

He has signed just two players for the upcoming school year, and has failed to bring in some of the top in-state recruits.

That includes blue-chip prospect Matthew Hurt of Rochester John Marshall, who recently took the Gophers off his list of school choices.

Pitino was Big Ten coach of the year in 2016-17, but the team lost its first-round NCAA tournament game to Middle Tennessee State.

This past season, despite injuries and a mid-season slump, the Gophers finished strong with two wins over nationally ranked Purdue and beat Louisville in the NCAA first round.

The Gophers' season ended with a second-round loss to Michigan State, who was beaten Saturday night by Texas Tech in the Final Four at US Bank Stadium in Minnepolis.

There had been reports in the past week of Pitino being considered a candidate for the head coaching vacancy in Arkansas, who fired Mike Anderson last month and appear ready to hire former Timberwolves assistant Eric Musselman.

Terms of the contract extension aren't released and the deal must be approved by the University of Minnesota board of regents.

 

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