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Minnesota hiring alum Ben Johnson as next head basketball coach

Minnesota announced on Monday the hiring of Ben Johnson, a former Gophers player and assistant coach who has been at Xavier for the last three seasons, as its next head men’s basketball coach.

“Ben is a proven coach who is ready to lead his own program,” AD Mark Coyle said in the press release. “He has earned this opportunity and is a tremendous teacher, recruiter and relationship builder. I am thrilled for him to lead his alma mater, and I am excited for the future of our men’s basketball program.”

Johnson was an assistant under Richard Pitino at Minnesota from 2013-18 before spending three years at Xavier working under Travis Steele. He was noted for his recruiting, landing in-state prospects Amier Coffey, Daniel Oturu and Gave Kalscheur for the Gophers. The Minneapolis-native won two state championships at DeLaSalle HS and was two-time captain at Minnesota.

“The University of Minnesota is such a special place and has impacted me in immeasurable ways on and off the court,” said Coach Johnson. “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.”

This is the first head coaching opportunity for Johnson, who also has stints at Nebraska, Northern Iowa, UT-Pan American and Dayton on his resume.


credit to Minnesota Athletics for the image