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Pitino rounds out staff with four additions


Richard Pitino has taken steps to distance him from the Tubby Smith era of Gophers basketball, taking very little from the national champion coach.

But the University of Minnesota officially announced four additions to Pitino’s staff late last week, one of whom was a special assistant to Smith during his six years with the Gophers.

Steve Goodson, Pitino’s director of basketball operations, will be the only employee crossing over from the Smith-Pitino transition. Goodson graduated from the University of Kentucky in 2005 and served as a special assistant under Smith with the Wildcats in 2006-07 before moving to Minnesota with the same role.

“I have a history with each one of these guys so they are coming into this situation with knowledge of what is expected of them,” Pitino said in a release. “They know that they will be playing an integral role as we try and take this program to the next level.” 

Pitino originally hired Mike Balado, former FIU assistant, as the director of operations.

Balado resigned after less than a week, but landed on another Pitino staff when he accepted an assistant position at Louisville, coached by Rick Pitino, on Friday.

Pitino hired his final assistant coach with the addition of Dan McHale.

McHale comes from the Big East conference after spending the previous three seasons as an assistant coach at Seton Hall.

“[McHale] fits what we already have in place here with [assistant coaches Kimani Young and Ben Johnson],” Pitino said. “Which is a love and passion for the game of basketball.”

Minnesota added another Louisville transplant with McHale, who spent four seasons with the Cardinals as a video coordinator and staff assistant.

In the final two years at Louisville, McHale was “responsible for advance scouting video of Cardinal opponents,” according to his profile on Louisville’s site.

Shaun Brown was named the head strength and conditioning coach after three years of fulfilling the same duties at the University of Southern California under Kevin O’Neill, who was fired this season.

Brown has worked a total of eight seasons in the NBA as a strength and condition coach for both the Boston Celtics (1997-2003) and Toronto Raptors (2003-05).

Josh Adel will follow Pitino from Florida International University as the assistant director of basketball operations for the Gophers. Like Pitino, Adel spent one year at FIU. Previously, he spent five years at Florida as a manager and later a head manager.

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