Richard Pitino put together the most impressive turn around of any program this past season, taking an eight-win Minnesota team — one that was so bad on the court and ran into trouble with the law so many times off of it — that he had entered the season sitting at the top of just about every hot seat list on the internet.
By the end of the season, the Gophers were a No. 5 seed in the NCAA tournament with a 24-10 record, improving 16 games on the previous season and putting themselves in a position where they are ranked No. 14 in the NBC Sports Preseason Top 25.
“Since I came back to Minnesota as the AD last May, I have been impressed with Coach Pitino and his management of our men’s basketball program,” said Athletics Director Mark Coyle. “I’ve seen accountability, commitment and focus from every student-athlete and member of the men’s basketball staff, led by Coach Pitino. The team’s success on the court this year generated a lot of excitement on campus and around the state. I’m looking forward to much more of that with Coach Pitino leading our program.”
Pitino, who was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year last season, will enter his fifth season as the head coach of the Gophers. His contract was extended through 2022,