Minnesota AD Mark Coyle explains what the 'next step' is for Richard Pitino, Gophers basketball
Minnesota didn’t have quite the season it had hoped for on the hardwood during the 2019-20 season. Despite having center Daniel Oturu and guard Marcus Carr filling up the stat sheets every night, the Gophers failed to rack up the wins.
A year after making an appearance in the NCAA Tournament, the Golden Gophers finished the season with a 15-16 record, finishing 12th in the B1G. Minnesota won its first game in the B1G Tournament, but didn’t get the chance to get to the .500 mark due to the conference’s decision to cancel the tournament.
Nonetheless, a sub-.500 season isn’t where head coach Richard Pitino wanted his team to be this year. Now, as Pitino enters his eighth season as the head coach, athletic director Mark Coyle believes it’s time for the program to take the next step.
“We will continue to work with him to get him to the next level, to win those close games and take the next step in the B1G to compete for championships and build this the right way,” Coyle said, according to TwinCities.com. “I have every hope and confidence he will do that for us.”
Pitino has compiled a 127-108 record during his seven seasons at Minnesota, but his conference record is well below the .500 mark, sitting at 48-82. He’s led the Gophers to two NCAA appearances and an NIT championship.
Coyle knows it’s time for Pitino’s teams to start delivering consistently on the court, but the AD has a lot of confidence in the head coach.
“I have a great deal of respect for him and I have great confidence in Richard,” Coyle said. “He is our basketball coach, and I believe in Ricahrd.”