FILE - In this Dec. 19, 2012 file photo, Florida International coach Richard Pitino applauds his team's effort during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Louisville in Louisville, Ky. Minnesota is in advanced discussions with Richard Pitino, the son of Louisville coach Rick Pitino, to take over for Tubby Smith. Two people with knowledge of the discussions say Pitino engaged in negotiations with Minnesota officials on Wednesday, April 3, 2013. The people requested anonymity because the deal has not been formally completed. In his lone season at Florida International, Pitino led the Panthers to an 18-14 record, the school's first winning season in 13 years. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File)The Associated Press
Louisville head coach Rick Pitino answers questions during a press conference Wednesday April 3, 2013, at the KFC Yum! Center practice facility in Louisville, Ky. Louisville plays Wichita State in a national semifinal game at the Final Four of the NCAA college basketball tournament in Atlanta on Saturday. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)The Associated Press
MINNEAPOLIS – Louisville coach Rick Pitino says his son Richard is "more than ready" to take over as head coach at Minnesota.
Pitino spoke to reporters in Atlanta on Thursday as his Cardinals prepare to face Wichita State in the Final Four this weekend. Richard Pitino agreed to a deal to coach the Golden Gophers on Wednesday.
The 30-year-old Richard Pitino has just one year of head coaching experience. He led Florida International to 18 victories last season. But his father says he pushed Richard to prepare him for this moment. Richard Pitino served as an assistant under his father at Louisville and also at Florida under Billy Donovan.
Donovan says both he and Rick Pitino have been preparing Richard for this chance for years.