The University of Minnesota named Richard Pitino, the 30-year-old son of Louisville coach Rick Pitino, as men’s basketball coach to succeed the fired Tubby Smith.
The younger Pitino will be introduced at a news conference tomorrow and the terms of the agreement will be finished this week, the Minneapolis-based school said on its website.
He spent one season at Florida International in Miami following three campaigns as an assistant to his father at Louisville. He’s also been an assistant for the University of Florida. Rick Pitino’s Cardinals are favored to win the National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament, which begins its Final Four in two days in Atlanta.
The Golden Panthers went 18-14 this season, posting an 11-9 mark in the Sun Belt Conference with a 65-63 loss to Western Kentucky in the conference tournament championship. Florida International was 8-21 a year ago.
Minnesota fired Smith on March 25 after six seasons following the Golden Gophers’ loss in the Round of 32 at the national tournament. The 61-year-old Smith was 124-81, including 46-62 in the Big Ten Conference. He was given a six-year contract to coach Texas Tech two days ago.