Gopher Basketball: Ben Johnson expected to join Pitino’s staff


Nov 11, 2012; Chestnut Hill, MA, USA; Florida International Golden Panthers head coach Richard Pitino during the first half against the Boston College Eagles at Conte Forum. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Ben Johnson, a Minneapolis native, is expected to join assistant coaches Kimani Young and Mike Balado on the Gophers sideline next season.

Johnson, 31, will add some Big Ten experience to coach Pitino’s staff.  A Golden Gopher alum, he spent one season at Nebraska as  a member of Tim Miles’ staff.

Best of all, Johnson is a Villa 7 graduate. In addition, he spent four years as a recruiting coordinator for Northern Iowa and his ties to local coaches in the state will be invaluable for the highly sought-after Class of 2014.

With this hire, Pitino now has three of the four spots on his staff filled before signing day next Tuesday.

As Pitino continues to fill out his staff, it is left to wonder if he will add another assistant coach with Big Ten experience.