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Minnesota Basketball: Richard Pitino to add Rob Jeter to Gopher Staff

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With an opening on the staff, Gophers add former Milwaukee head coach Rob Jeter

Villanova v Milwaukee Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

With Kimani Young taking a position on UConn’s staff, Richard Pitino needed to fill out his current staff and it is being reported that he will fill that open spot with Rob Jeter.

Jeter has spent the past 2 seasons as as assistant at UNLV but is probably more well-known as having spent 11 seasons as the head coach of Milwaukee. After a contentious relationship with Milwaukee’s AD, he was let go following a 20-win season. This coaching change is, in part, what led to Akeem Springs transferring to Minnestoa. Prior to beocming the Panther’s head coach, Jeter was a trusted assistant for Bo Ryan at UW-Platteville, Milwaukee and Madison.

So here is what we are getting with Jeter.

  • 11 years head coaching experience where his teams won 20 games or more 5 times. His Panthers won the Horizon League twice during his tenure.
  • A Bo Ryan disciple. Say what you want about Bo Ryan, but he was incredibly successful and adept at developing players.
  • During his 4 seasons at Madison, Jeter was the program’s lead recruiter.
  • A coach with 15+ years of recruiting in the midwest including Wisconsin, Chicago and Minnesota.

My Take

Head coaches are often made to look much better when they have a talented and experienced coaching staff around them. Great recruiters, good scouters and guys who can teach in other areas all contribute to making a team more successful. When Dan Monson brought in Jim Molinari, his teams began playing much better defense as they made the NCAA Tournament. I believe that Dan McHale, on Pitino’s staff the first year, was very good at having their teams well prepared for each individual Big Ten opponent. For Tubby Smith, this may have been one of the biggest mistakes by not hiring a more experienced staff. And it appears as though Richard Pitino is doing his best to surround himself with experienced assistants.

The two most recent hirings made by Pitino are ones where he has hired men who had previously been Division I head coaches. Ed Conroy was previously a head coach at Tulane, he came in here with a notion for developing big men and you have seen back-to-back seasons where the Gopher frontcourt was one of the best. Jeter will come here bringing additional experience as a good recruiter and a decade of being a head coach.

I like the move, this is a solid addition to round out the current staff. Now let’s get a couple key transfers please.