Shama chimes in:
When the announcement came that Minnesota athletic director Mark Coyle
and head coach Richard Pitino
had parted ways, Dutcher was coaching his team in the NCAA Tournament. After the Aztecs were eliminated in a first round loss to Syracuse, Coyle and Brian spoke by phone about the Minnesota opening, per Jim Dutcher.
Jim told Sports Headliners
yesterday his son and Coyle talked about getting together but never did. Soon after the initial conversation, Coyle called again to say he had hired former Gopher guard and assistant coach Ben Johnson
, who was then an assistant at Xavier. Jim said he understood the reasoning at the time for Coyle’s decision to hire a coach with “Minnesota connections” for recruiting and building the program around more high level local talent.
Would Brian have accepted the Gopher job if offered? “I don’t know,” his father said.
What’s for certain is Brian publicly demonstrated his interest in the U by including the modest buyout in his contract. “It’s my school, where I went, and was able to be part of that basketball program with my dad,” Brian told the Union-Tribune
. “But it’s still a buyout. It’s not like it’s free.”