After Tough Weekend of Negotiations, Pitino Inks 2-Year Extension

PHOTO: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
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After 3 days of a stalemate, something pushed the University of Minnesota and Richard Pitino to get his contract extension done. It wasn’t a pretty process, as I lined out earlier today from everything I’ve gathered over the weekend, but they got it done.

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On the face, it looks like Richard Pitino won the stare-down with Coyle. From what I saw over at, the offer was only a one-year extension before it was announced a bit earlier today as two years. So why did Coyle give in? Well, if we find out the buyout hasn’t changed and neither has the pay…. how much did Pitino really get out of the stall tactic?


He saved a bit of face, at the very least, and there’s always something to be said for that in this game. But, the termination clauses didn’t change. What did happen, however, is that Richard can now get out of the deal for cheaper. My understanding was a $2M payment to the University (or something similar). That is now just $500K, making it easier for him to jump at a better offer elsewhere…

My tweet sums up how I feel.

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 “My family and I have loved living in the Twin Cities the last six years,” said Pitino.  “We have met so many wonderful, supportive people.  It’s an honor to be able to continue to lead this Gopher basketball program.  I enjoy working with my athletics director, Mark Coyle, every day.  I would like to thank Mark, President Kaler, and the University for continuing to believe in me. I look forward to continuing to move this special program forward.”

“I am excited for Coach Pitino to continue to lead our men’s basketball program,” said Coyle. “Coach Pitino has developed All-Big Ten players, led deep runs into the Big Ten tournament and earned the school’s ninth-ever NCAA tournament win this year. I look forward to him advancing the program further in the upcoming years.”

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Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan

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