Well that didn’t take long. Richard Pitino has only been out of a job for a few hours but he already appears to be a finalist for another vacant head coaching job.
According to Jeff Goodman of Stadium, Pitino is one of the “co-leaders” for the New Mexico head coaching job. The other co-leader is former Nebraska head coach Tim Miles. Per the report, an announcement by New Mexico is expected in the next day or two.
Pitino was fired this morning after finishing the 2020-21 season with a 14-15 record and missing the NCAA Tournament. He went 141-123 in eight seasons with Minnesota, but had losing seasons in three of the last four years.
The New Mexico job opened up a few weeks ago, when the Lobos announced that Paul Weir won’t be back for the 2021-22 season. Weir went 58-63 as head coach of the Lobos but never reached the NCAA Tournament with them.
BREAKING: Richard Pitino and former Nebraska head coach Tim Miles are the co-leaders for the New Mexico job, multiple sources told @Stadium.
Expect the Lobos to make a decision between the two in the next 24-48 hours. https://t.co/2QVyJZmruI
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) March 15, 2021
Richard Pitino is only 38 years old but already boasts nine years of head coaching experience.
He got his first head coaching job at FIU in 2012 and went 18-14 with the Panthers. Minnesota were impressed enough to make him their head coach the very next year.
In his first year with Minnesota, Pitino led the Golden Gophers to a 25-13 record, capped off by an NIT title win over SMU. But the NCAA Tournament eluded him until 2017, when he led Minnesota to the tournament after finishing fourth in the Big Ten.
The Golden Gophers were eliminated immediately by Middle Tennessee, but were back in the 2019 tournament. Pitino secured his first NCAA Tournament win by beating Louisville, only to be eliminated in the following round.
Will Richard Pitino be the new head coach at New Mexico?