Other coaches found plenty of success this season, but Minnesota’s Richard Pitino won out in the end.
The Gophers’ leader won Big Ten Coach of the Year honors from both coaches and the media on Monday after his Gophers went 23-8 overall and 11-7 in Big Ten play in the regular season. Only one season ago, the Gophers were 8-23 overall and 2-16 in conference play; this season they enter the Big Ten Tournament as the 4-seed, recipient of a coveted double-bye.
Pitino is the second coach in Minnesota history to win the honor, and the first since 1982, according to a release by the school.
ESPN’s Joe Lunardi currently has Pitino’s bunch as a No. 6 seed for the NCAA Tournament in his bracketology, facing No. 11 Syracuse in the first round. Lunardi has the Gophers in the South Region and in Salt Lake City to begin the tournament.
Minnesota’s Richard Pitino named Big Ten Coach of the Year
— Minnesota MBB (@GopherMBB) March 6, 2017
Richard Pitino with the Gophers
- 2013-14: 25-13 (8-10 Big Ten), NIT Champions (school record for wins in a season)
- 2014-15: 18-15 (6-12)
- 2015-16: 8-23 (2-16)
- 2016-17: 23-8 (11-7)