The seat for Minnesota head coach Richard Pitino seems to be getting a little warmer. As the Golden Gophers continue to struggle through the season, questions about job security are on the rise.
Wednesday night, Minnesota suffered another heartbreaking defeat, falling 74-73 to No. 9 Maryland at Williams Arena. The Gophers dropped their fourth game in five outings and fell below .500 on the year, stumbling to 13-14 overall.
After the game, Pitino was asked if he thinks about his job security following a loss like the one Wednesday night. He said his primary focus is still on his team and his family.
“I think when you’re in this profession you think about your team, you think about your family. You try to stay confident anytime you lose close games. You’ve got to evaluate every single game,” Pitino said, in a video posted by GopherHole.com. “But I’m very, very confident in what we’re doing here. I think our guys are really good kids and getting better. We can’t worry about that, we’ve got to move on to the next one.”
Pitino is in his seventh season with the program and boasts a 125-106 record with the Golden Gophers. Last season, he took the team to the NCAA Tournament for the second time in his tenure.
Right now, Minnesota is just hoping for an NIT bid, something that seems to be slipping through its fingers. And if there’s no postseason in the Twin Cities, there could be a decision to be made by athletic director Mark Coyle.