Minnesota Basketball: Gophers Set to Hire Richard Pitino as Head Coach

Andrew Doughty@adoughty88Correspondent IIApril 3, 2013

Minnesota has reportedly reached an agreement with Florida International head coach Richard Pitino to replace Tubby Smith.

As reported by ESPN's Andy Katz, Minnesota and Pitino are finalizing a deal in Florida today to bring the son of legendary Louisville coach, Rick Pitino, to Minneapolis.

Minnesota athletic director Norwood Teague was rumored to be targeting VCU's Shaka Smart and former Minnesota Timberwolves' head coach Flip Saunders before turning his attention to the 30-year-old head coach.

Pitino replaces Tubby Smith after the sixth-year coach won a single NCAA tournament game and failed to record a winning record in Big Ten during his tenure.

Pitino served as an assistant at the College of Charleston, Northeastern and Duquesne before joining his father's staff at Louisville in 2007. He would spend two seasons with the Cardinals before being hired as an assistant by his father's former player, Billy Donovan, at Florida.

Pitino would return to Louisville for the 2011-12 season before accepting the head coaching position at Florida International following the short stint from Isiah Thomas. The Panthers finished 18-14 on the season before upsetting Middle Tennessee State in the Sun Belt tournament as a No. 5 seed.

FIU would later fall to Western Kentucky in the league's title game.

It is also being reported via Andy Katz that Minneapolis native and current Arizona State assistant coach Eric Musselman was scheduled to interview with Teague in Fort Myers, Florida this week before the Gophers reached an agreement with Pitino.

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