Richard Pitino was regarded as one of the nation’s up-and-coming young coaches at Florida International and comes with a last name that draws immediate respect in all corners of college basketball.
That combination was too good for Minnesota to pass up.
Pitino has agreed to take over for the fired Tubby Smith, the university announced Wednesday night.
Athletic director Norwood Teague said the final terms of the contract would be worked out as the week goes on and Pitino was expected to be introduced by Friday.
In his lone season at Florida International, the son of Louisville coach Rick Pitino led the Panthers to an 18-14 record, the school’s first winning season in 13 years.
He turns 31 in September, fitting the profile of a rising star that Teague has preferred to hire in the past.
Smith, who was fired last week after six seasons at Minnesota, was hired at Texas Tech Monday.
Theus hiredReggie Theus was named coach at Cal State Northridge. Athletic director Brandon Martin announced the former NBA player’s hiring. Theus succeeds Bobby Braswell, who was fired March 17 after 17 years that included three 20-win seasons and two NCAA Tournament appearances. Theus coached at New Mexico State from 2005-07 . . . Boise State has rewarded coach Leon Rice for posting consecutive 20-win seasons and getting the Broncos to the NCAA tourney last month. AD Mark Coyle announced a contract extension and pay hike for the third-year coach . . . Craig Neal was introduced as New Mexico’s new coach, replacing Steve Alford . . . Andy Enfield used to drive by the Southern California campus while visiting his brother who lives in the area. Now he’s running the Trojans’ basketball program. Enfield called it ‘‘an unbelievable dream, something that I've been working towards for many, many years.’’ The 43-year-old was introduced Wednesday at Galen Center. Enfield comes from Florida Gulf Coast, which reached the round of 16 in the NCAA Tournament as a No. 15 seed.
Ware to be presence
Injured Louisville guard Kevin Ware will travel to the Final Four on crutches and expects to be a big presence for the Cardinals. Cleared by doctors to accompany Louisville to Atlanta after breaking his leg, the sophomore told the AP that he plans to be a full participant in the team’s preparation for Saturday’s game against Wichita State. The Cardinals will leave around 7 p.m. for a flight expected to last just over an hour with Ware on it. Ware said the overwhelming support he has received has helped him maintain his spirits.
Crabbe to enter draft
Pac-12 Player of the Year and leading scorer Allen Crabbe will skip his senior season at California and enter the NBA draft. The move by the junior guard was long expected . . . Kansas freshman Anrio Adams has been granted a release to transfer to another school in what Jayhawks coach Bill Self characterized as an amicable parting of ways.