Mar 11, 2013; Hot Springs, AR, USA; Florida International Panthers head coach Richard Pitino reacts during the championship game of the Sun Belt Conference tournament against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers at Summit Arena. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Gophers reportedly have verbal agreement with Richard Pitino


Dec 19, 2012; Louisville, KY, USA; Florida International Golden Panthers head coach Richard Pitino hugs his father, Louisville Cardinals head coach Rick Pitino, before the first half at the KFC Yum! Center. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

According to CBS Sports’ Jeff Goodman, Norwood Teague and the Gophers will hire 30-year-old Richard Pitino as the next head coach of the Gopher men’s basketball team.

Pitino completed his first season as head coach of Florida International University leading them to a 18-14 record in the Sun Belt – East conference.

Pitino is the son of Louisville head coach Rick Pitino. The senior Pitino will coach his Cardinals team in the Final Four this weekend.

Richard Pitino has the pedigree but also has more than eight years of experience as an assistant coach, including years under his father at Louisville from 2007-09 and again from 2011-12.

What makes him even more appealing is his two years of experience as an assistant for Billy Donovan in Florida.

Pitino started his career at College of Charleston before coaching at Northwestern, Duquesne, Florida and Louisville before his first head coaching gig at FIU.

While Pitino is not a Villa 7 alum, apparently it was enough for Teague to hire the young gun who is known for his uptempo coaching style.

Recruiting and experience will be the biggest questions, but initial reactions from fans sounds like most are happy with the hire.

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Tags: Basketball Gophers Minnesota Minnesota Golden Gophers Richard Pitino Rodney Williams Tubby Smith