Minnesota declared Monday that it is employing Xavier right hand Ben Johnson, a previous Gophers player and collaborator, to supplant Richard Pitino as the program’s b-ball mentor. Johnson joined the Xavier staff in 2018 in the wake of functioning as an aide for Pitino from 2013-18.
CBS Sports’ Matt Norlander affirmed the information on the approaching recruit prior on Monday.
“Ben is a demonstrated mentor who is prepared to lead his own program,” Minnesota athletic chief Mark Coyle said. “He has procured this chance and is a gigantic instructor, spotter and relationship manufacturer. I’m excited for him to lead his institute of matriculation, and I am energized for the fate of our men’s b-ball program.”
Johnson has likewise functioned as an associate for Northern Iowa and Nebraska since his time as a co-commander in the Minnesota program from 2002 to 2004. The Minneapolis local started his school playing profession at Northwestern in 1999 and went through two seasons with the Wildcats prior to moving to Minnesota. As a senior in the 2003-04, he found the middle value of 11.5 focuses per game on 40% 3-point shooting.
“The University of Minnesota is such a special place and has impacted me in immeasurable ways on and off the court,” Johnson said. “I want to thank President Joan Gabel, Mark Coyle, Julie Manning and everyone involved in the search process for believing in me and trusting me to lead this historic program. I am ready to get to work.”
Johnson began his instructing vocation as an alumni collaborator at Dayton and was a colleague for Texas-Pan American prior to arriving on the Northern Iowa staff. While on staff under Pitino, Johnson helped lead the Minnesota program to perhaps the best season in late memory in 2016-17. That crew completed 24-10 (11-7 Big Ten) and made the NCAA Tournament as a No. 5 seed prior to losing in the first round. It was the program’s best seed for the Big Dance since 1997.
Pitino was terminated for the current month after sequential losing seasons, and has since acknowledged the head instructing position at New Mexico. Sources : cbssports