On Friday, April 5, Richard Pitino was named the University of Minnesota's 17th head coach of Golden Gopher men's basketball.
"We are excited to welcome Coach Pitino to the University of Minnesota," said University President Eric Kaler. "Pitino brings the energy, skill, passion and commitment we need to lead our program and develop our student-athletes, both on and off the court."
Pitino comes to Gold Country after spending one season at the helm of the Florida International University (FIU) basketball program. Prior to his arrival in South Florida, FIU had not had a winning season since 1999-2000 and in the three seasons before his hiring posted a combined record of 26-65.
"Coach Pitino is the right fit for our university, basketball program and student-athletes," said Director of Athletics Norwood Teague. "We were impressed with the turnaround at Florida International and his prior success with Louisville and Florida. We look forward to working with Richard to build a successful long-term program."
In just one season, Pitino led the program to 18 wins, the fourth-most in program history, and its first appearance in the Sun Belt Conference Tournament championship game. FIU finished with 11 conference wins on the season, the most by a Panther team since joining the Sun Belt Conference.
"It is an unbelievable honor to have the opportunity to lead the University of Minnesota program," said Pitino. "I want to thank President Kaler, Norwood Teague and the rest of the administration for believing I am the right person to build this program and develop its student-athletes. I look forward to working with Norwood, our student-athletes and the entire athletic department."
Prior to leading FIU, Pitino served as the Associate Head Coach for one season and an assistant for two other seasons under his father, Rick, at Louisville. In three years overall with the Cardinals, he helped the program to a combined 88-25 record, a pair of NCAA Elite Eight berths (2008 and 2009) and one NCAA Final Four appearance (2012). His efforts also helped the Cards land two of top 15 recruiting classes in his three years (2007-08 and 2008-09).
Pitino also spent time as an assistant for two seasons under Billy Donovan at Florida. In his time with the Gators, the club was a combined 50-20 with back-to back NCAA Tournament appearances, including reaching the 2011 NCAA Southeast Regional finals before falling to NCAA runner-up Butler.
Pitino has also spent time as an assistant at Duquesne (2006-07) as well as at Northeastern (2005-06) and served as an administrative assistant at the College of Charleston (2005).
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