Gophers men’s basketball coach Richard Pitino’s first official day on the job was April 10. Two weeks later, he is moving full speed ahead after filling out his coaching staff and inking his first recruit to a national letter of intent.
Dan McHale, an assistant at Seton Hall for the past three years, is set to be hired as an assistant on Pitino’s staff, a source confirmed, while recruit Daquein McNeil — who committed to the Gophers a week ago — officially signed with Minnesota on Tuesday.
The Gophers have not announced McHale’s hiring, but school officials said earlier this week that Pitino’s next hire would be his top assistant.
The Gophers have a young staff compared to many other major programs. Pitino is 30. Kimani Young is the oldest assistant at 39. McHale is 33, Minnesota native Ben Johnson is 32, and director of basketball operations Steve Goodson is 30.
McHale graduated in 2001 from Kentucky — where he was a student manager under Tubby Smith — and has six years of experience as an assistant coach, working at Iona for three years before his tenure at Seton Hall. He has connections to the Pitino family through Louisville, where he worked under Rick Pitino as director of video operations.
McNeil, a 6-3 guard, originally committed to Pitino at Florida International, but he followed the coach to Minnesota.
After McNeil’s signing, the Gophers have three scholarships remaining for the 2013-14 season.