The Gopher message boards and this nugget from Charlie Walters are all pointing to the idea that in the next few days the Gopher basketball program will be searching for a new head coach.
Word in college basketball circles is that a decision that Richard Pitino wouldn’t be returning as University of Minnesota men’s basketball coach was made 10 days ago.
Given how this team went from a potential 6-seed in the NCAA Tournament to finishing 13th in the conference after a 7-game losing streak to end the regular season, this should not come as a suprise.
Nothing is official and we will hold off any coverage or speculation until something is made official. But once that happens, be certain that we will have you covered.
Now...here are some thoughts on Dos and Don’ts for a Gopher coaching search.
DO - watch games for other teams from around the country this week. Maybe you’ve heard speculation that a particular coach may be a candidate.
DON’T - put much stock into any particular game. Every coach is going to lose games they shouldn’t. EVERY team is going to have stretches in games where the offense struggles or the other team goes on a run.
DO - look at their entire body of work.
DON’T - worry if that coach is going to stay at Minnesota long-term or not. This is the most ridiculous thing ever and something we worry about in every single search. Yet it has ONLY happened to Minnesota in 1986. If we hire a coach who has great success and moves on to a blue-blood, GREAT! That means we’ve achieved success not seen here in our lifetimes. But to pass on that coach because he might leave some day? Please just stop.
DO - take a look at their recruiting and scouting successes.
DON’T - worry about if they’re going to land 4 and 5 star kids here. That requires winning first. Win and big-time recruits will come here. If we are losing and landing top 25 talent, there is either cheating or some unusual circumstance that really has nothing to do with the new coach’s recruiting talents.
DO - trust the process. Mark Coyle has been more than competent as the U’s AD and he will make the decision he sees is best for the program. If that guy is 3rd on my wish list and 6th on yours, we can’t do a damn thing about it anyway.
I will certainly enjoy watching the Gophers open the Big Ten Tournament against Northwestern on Wednesday and would welcome a fun little Big Ten Tournament run to close out this season. What happens after the tournament, we will talk about it at that point.