(Minneapolis, MN) — The University of Minnesota announced last night it has officially parted ways with men’s basketball coach Richard Pitino. Golden Gopher athletic director Mark Coyle says it was a tough decision, but new leadership is needed. Coyle says he believes he can find a new coach who will improve the fortunes of the Gophers and a search will begin immediately. Pitino was on the job for eight seasons, earning trips to the N-C-A-A Tournament twice. His coaching record at Minnesota was 141-123 overall, but only 54-96 in Big Ten games. Pitino posted on his Twitter last night a picture of him with two of children at Williams Arena and stated “Always wanted to represent Minnesota the right way on a daily basis with class and integrity. Thank you for a special 8 years. Fired up for what the future holds!” Current Gopher assistant coach Ed Conroy will oversee the program until a permanent head coach is hired.
Gopher athletic director Mark Coyle spoke with MNN sports director Mike Grimm: