According to a press release, Minnesota has signed an extension with head coach Richard Pitino through the 2020-21 season with an annual base income of $1.1 million with the potential for bonuses if Pitino remains with the program, wins various coaching awards, and if specified academic measures are met. The news comes as PItino is coming off his second season as head coach of the Golden Gophers.
Pitino became the Minnesota head coach in 2013 and has completed two seasons with the Golden Gophers. Minnesota made the NIT and won the NIT championship in 2014, but failed to make the postseason in 2015. Overall, Pitino has a 43-28 record with the program and a 14-22 record in Big Ten play.
Though most of Minnesota's success under Pitino came during the 2013-14 season, many have been attracted to his unique style of play and his ability to land top prospects. Minnesota's 2015 recruiting class featured 4-star prospect Kevin Dorsey and intriguing prospects in Jarvis Johnson, Jordan Murphy, and Dupree McBrayer. With these players and several incoming transfers, many feel Pitino has Minnesota set for a breakout.
With the extension, Pitino is now signed as Minnesota's head coach for the next 6 seasons. If Pitino remains at Minnesota for the duration of the contract, he will be 38 years old and the longest sitting head coach for the basketball team since Clem Haskins, who coached Minnesota from 1986 to 1999.
Next season should be an important one for Minnesota as the team loses key contributors in Andre Hollins and Deandre Mathieu. It will be up to Pitino to find new contributors and get Minnesota back in the postseason.