Pitino, Minnesota seek more progress in 6th year at program

MINNEAPOLIS  — Minnesota has had no bigger fan over the last six seasons than coach Richard Pitino’s father, with Rick Pitino taking plenty of opportunities along the way to support his son, advise the players and just plain root for the Gophers .

That was before they were paired against Louisville in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Ah, but Rick Pitino won’t be behind the bench in a maroon-and-gold sweater singing The Minnesota Rouser fight song Thursday when the No. 10 seed Gophers face the No. 7 seed Cardinals. He has his own professional team in Greece to coach, with the Euroleague season winding down.

“My wife and kids will be there. My brother will be there. My cousin may go,” Richard Pitino said. “People have jobs and other things as well.”

So, no, this game isn’t about exacting some measure of revenge for the sake of the family on the school that fired his dad.

The pairing immediately produced a hearty portion of sports talk-show content, sure. The soap-opera fans in the crowd would relish the tension of Rick Pitino cheering for victory over the program he led to a national championship in 2013, a title later vacated because of a team dormitory sex scandal. The federal investigation that linked Louisville to a bribery case led to his ouster in 2017 .

For Richard Pitino, though, this game against a Cardinals team for which he served two stints as assistant coach under his father will be about trying to keep up the progress the Gophers have made this month at the end of another uneven season.

“I’ve got little kids. I like it here. Dehumanize it as much as you want, but I want to be here,” Pitino said Wednesday before the Gophers left for Des Moines, Iowa. He acknowledged wincing at times this season upon seeing or hearing his name on the “hot seat” lists of coaches who could be fired without an NCAA Tournament appearance. Ultimately, his future will rest with athletic director Mark Coyle, the third boss Pitino has had in six years.

“I don’t know if it’s true or not. I didn’t want to ask Mark,” Pitino said.

Mower County

Commissioners approve resolution using federal funds to replace county bridges

Mower County

Evolve wraps up successful season

Mower County

Young Eagles Flight Rally scheduled for June 8

Mower County

Mayo Clinic Ambulance Service offers paid training program

Mower County

Fourth Grade Junior Fire State Poster Contest winners named

News

Two correctional officers sustain minor injuries after assault by two inmates at Minnesota prison

Education

In Your Community: Masons give out scholarships

News

Israeli strikes kill at least 37 Palestinians, most in tents, near Gaza’s Rafah as offensive expands

News

Trump prosecutor focuses on ‘cover-up’ in closing arguments while defense attacks key witness

Blooming Prairie

Two from Austin injured in Friday crash near Blooming Prairie

News

Minnesota lawmakers assert protections for public waters

Mower County

I-90 eastbound 4th, 6th Street ramps in Austin close May 31, Cedar River closes June 3

Mower County

Photos: Those who gave all honored on Memorial Day

Mower County

Honor those who served this Memorial Day

Education

‘Light the world on fire:’ Pacelli graduates the Class of 2024

Education

Signing ceremony a first step for students hoping to get into education

Education

Hook, line, and sinker – Lyle students made the best catch

Mower County

Austin Stormwater Resilience Plan – Open House slated for Tuesday

Mower County

Mueller awarded fellowship to attend leadership institute

Mower County

Nominations to open June 1 for APS Distinguished Alumni

Mower County

Great River Energy donates fire test hose station to Dexter Fire Department

Mower County

In Your Community: Austin Masons donated to area fire departments

Brownsdale

In Your Community: Brownsdale Study Club

Mower County

In Your Community: Duplicate Bridge