Not long after Stadium’s Jeff Goodman reported that Minnesota had landed its next head men’s basketball coach, the school made the hire official.

Monday, Minnesota announced former player and assistant coach Ben Johnson as the program’s next leader. He returns to the Twin Cities after spending the past three seasons as an assistant at Xavier. Johnson was an assistant under Richard Pitino for the Golden Gophers from 2013-18.

“Ben is a proven coach who is ready to lead his own program,” said athletic director Mark Coyle. “He has earned this opportunity and is a tremendous teacher, recruiter and relationship builder. I am thrilled for him to lead his alma mater, and I am excited for the future of our men’s basketball program.”

As a player at Minnesota, Johnson scored 533 points and played in 59 games. He was a two-time team captain for the Gophers. Johnson started his career at Northwestern before transferring out.

In four seasons at Northwestern and Minnesota, Johnson totaled 1,202 career points.

“The University of Minnesota is such a special place and has impacted me in immeasurable ways on and off the court,” said Johnson. “I want to thank President Joan Gabel, Mark Coyle, Julie Manning and everyone involved in the search process for believing in me and trusting me to lead this historic program. I am ready to get to work.”

This will be Johnson’s first job as a head coach in college basketball.