Pitino's FIU boss knew coach would move on

  • Article by: AMELIA RAYNO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 5, 2013 - 9:06 AM

It was January when Florida International athletic director Pete Garcia started to worry.

His coach was successful — as in he’s-going-to-be-leaving-too-soon successful.

Sure enough, at the end of the season, at least one school was knocking on Richard Pitino’s door.

Garcia said Minnesota first reached out to Pitino this Monday, and his young coach approached him with both excitement and skepticism.

“He was flattered,” Garcia said. “He was flattered by the attention that Minnesota showed him. He called me and he said, ‘I don’t even think anything is going to happen with this.’ I said ‘Well, don’t underestimate yourself.’ ”

The Rutgers job opened up in the early hours of Wednesday, but by that point, Pitino already had interviewed and had his eyes set on Minnesota if it wanted him.

Sure enough, Pitino soon was being reported as the new Gophers men’s basketball head coach.

“The AD at Florida International was awesome,” Richard Pitino’s father, Rick, told reporters at the Final Four on Thursday. “Pete Garcia said, ‘Richard, you need to go. It’s been too short, but that’s a Big Ten job.’ … So he was great, and I was appreciative of that, too.”

FIU assistant coming

Nothing has yet been formally announced regarding Pitino’s new staff at Minnesota, but Garcia confirmed FIU assistant Kimani Young would be joining his former coach at Minnesota.

It is unknown whether Pitino will look for the rest of his staff from his past or try to draw more on the one he put in place at FIU.

“I think he’s talked to all of them,” Garcia said. “It’s a really good staff. I think he has a plan for most of them. … But I would love for my new coach to keep a couple of guys here.”

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Chicago Cubs - WP: B. Parker 6 FINAL
Cincinnati - LP: J. Hoover 4
Philadelphia - WP: D. Buchanan 9 FINAL
Milwaukee - LP: M. Garza 1
Oakland - WP: S. Kazmir 6 FINAL
San Francisco - LP: T. Hudson 1
Chicago WSox - LP: R. Belisario 3 FINAL
Boston - WP: A. Miller 4
Washington - LP: G. Gonzalez 3 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: W. Chen 4
NY Yankees - LP: M. Thornton 3 FINAL
Cleveland - WP: C. Carrasco 9
Atlanta - WP: A. Harang 3 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: B. Colon 1
Pittsburgh - WP: E. Volquez 9 FINAL
St. Louis - LP: S. Miller 1
LA Angels - WP: H. Santiago 15 FINAL
Texas - LP: C. Lewis 6
Detroit - WP: D. Smyly 16 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Guthrie 4
San Diego - LP: O. Despaigne 1 FINAL
Los Angeles - WP: C. Kershaw 2
Minnesota - WP: Y. Pino 4 FINAL
Seattle - LP: T. Wilhelmsen 2
Winnipeg 6:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Calgary 7/12/14 5:30 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 7/12/14 8:30 PM
Saskatchewan
Edmonton 7/17/14 7:30 PM
Winnipeg
Toronto 7/18/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Hamilton 7/18/14 9:00 PM
Calgary
Montreal 7/19/14 6:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Connecticut 68 FINAL
Indiana 72
Minnesota 91 FINAL
Tulsa 85
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which upcoming event are you most excited about?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close