AP Source: Pitino will return for 8th season with Minnesota

By Dave Campbell

AP Sports Writer

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota coach Richard Pitino will return for his eighth season with the program, a person with knowledge of the situation confirmed on Friday.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity, without authorization to speak publicly on the matter.

The 37-year-old Pitino has a 127-108 record with the Gophers, including a 48-82 mark in Big Ten regular-season play. They finished 12th in the 14-team league in 2019-20, winning their first-round game in the conference tournament on Wednesday before the Big Ten canceled the remainder of the event out of precaution for the coronavirus pandemic.

Pitino, who was the Big Ten Coach of the Year in 2016-17, has a $2 million buyout in his contract if he were to be fired before April 30. The figure then drops to $1.75 million for a termination prior to April 30, 2021.

Pitino met with athletic director Mark Coyle on Friday. In a statement provided by the university, Coyle said: “Richard understands my high expectations for our program, which is to compete at a championship level.”