Minnesota Hires Pitino to Coach Men's Basketball!
After striking out with Memphis' Josh Pastner, VCU's Shaka Smart and perhaps others, Minnesota has settled on Richard Pitino to replace Tubby Smith, fired last week after six seasons in Minneapolis.
Pitino, of course, is the son of legendary Louisville coach Rick Pitino and leaves Florida International after just one season at the school, leading the Panthers to an 18-14 record, their first winning season in 13 years.
Prior to FIU, Pitino served as an assistant at Louisville, Florida, Duquesne and Northeastern.
At 30, Pitino is by far the youngest coach in the Big Ten – Purdue's Matt Painter, the next youngest coach in the league is 42 – but young coaches have worked out well for Gopher AD Norwood Teague in the past. Smart was all of 31 when Teague, then the athletic director at VCU, tabbed him to take over as the Rams head coach.