The Gophers agreed to a two-year contract extension with head coach Richard Pitino on Sunday, putting to rest any rumors that Pitino could be on the move. With the extension, it’s a reaffirmation that Pitino will be here for the foreseeable future.
”My family and I have loved living in the Twin Cities the last six years,” said Pitino in a University press release. ”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.”
”I am excited for Coach Pitino to continue to lead our men’s basketball program,” said Coyle. “Coach Pitino has developed All-Big Ten players, led deep runs into the Big Ten tournament and earned the school’s ninth-ever NCAA tournament win this year. I look forward to him advancing the program further in the upcoming years.”
Pitino recently completed his sixth season at the helm of Gopher basketball, leading the team to its second NCAA Tournament berth in the last three years. In the first round of the East Regional, Pitino’s Gopher squad upset No. 7-seed Louisville.
Since arriving in Minneapolis, Pitino’s players have earned seven All-Big Ten honors including first team selection Jordan Murphy and third team honoree Amir Coffey this year. His record at Minnesota stands at 112-91, including three 20-win seasons during his tenure.
At the end of the day, I’m glad to see Pitino’s contract extended. It provides much-needed stability for recruiting purposes and will allow the program to continue with the momentum it has generated recently.