Update: Richard Pitino has verbally agreed to become Minnesota's new basketball coach, according to a report from Jeff Goodman of CBS Sports.
A surprising name came up on Wednesday when reports surfaced that the University of Minnesota is "in negotiations" with Richard Pitino to become its next men's basketball coach. He is the son of Louisville coach Rick Pitino.
The news was first reported by former Louisville beat writer, and current area TV personality, Rick Bozich, who shared the following via Twitter:
Word around U of L is Richard Pitino in negotiations with Minnesota. If so, inspired choice. Bright and enthusiastic guy.— rickbozich (@rickbozich) April 3, 2013
Bozich's choice of the word "inspired" seems appropriate, as the program has had trouble finding a replacement for Tubby Smith, who was fired last week. Rumors have surfaced about a number of candidates, including VCU's Shaka Smart, Iowa State's Fred Hoiberg and former Duke assistant and current Northwestern head coach Chris Collins. All have either signed extensions at their schools or taken other jobs.
Still, Pitino's name is still a surprising one, as he is only 31 years old and just finished his first season as head coach at Florida International.
Pitino's Golden Panther club went 18-14 (a 10-win improvement from 2012) and ended its season one game short of the NCAA Tournament, with a Sun Belt final loss to Western Kentucky.
Pitino had previously served on both his father's staff at Louisville and under Billy Donovan at Florida.