Former Minnesota assistant Dan McHale has been hired as the head coach at Eastern Kentucky, he confirmed with the Star Tribune on Tuesday evening. 

ESPN's Jeff Goodman first reported the news.

McHale was hired as Gophers head coach Richard Pitino's top assistant in the spring of 2013 after working as an assistant under Kevin Willard at Seton Hall for the previous three years. The New Jersey native has roots in Kentucky, graduating from the University of Kentucky in 2001 and working first as a staff assistant and then a Director of Video Operations at the University of Louisville.

"I'm excited to take on a new challenge and represent a great university in Eastern Kentucky," McHale told the Star Tribune. "I'm just ready for the next part of my journey. I couldn't have done this without [Minnesota] coach [Richard] Pitino and everything we've done at University of Minnesota -- I'll miss Minnesota on daily basis, but this was the right decision for me and my family. Coach Pitino and his staff absolutely have his program going in the right direction."

The Colonels have been to the NCAA tournament three times since 2000, most recently losing to Kansas in their first game in 2014. Their NCAA tournament record is 0-8. Last season, they posted a 21-12 record but lost to Belmont by one in the Ohio Valley Conference tournament. Eastern Kentucky won two games in the low-level CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament before being ousted by Tennessee-Martin, also by one point.

McHale will head to the East Coast immediately for a press conference on Thursday.

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