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Pitino Hires Former Gopher, MN Native Ben Johnson

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(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- New Minnesota coach Richard Pitino has hired a former Gophers player as an assistant on his staff.

The university announced the addition of Ben Johnson on Tuesday.

Johnson spent last season as an assistant at Nebraska under coach Tim Miles. The native of Minneapolis played at DeLaSalle High School and was a captain and a shooting guard for the Gophers for two years from 2002-04 after transferring from Northwestern. In 2003-04, Johnson averaged 11.5 points per game on a team-best 51.8 percent shooting.

Johnson has also previously coached at Northern Iowa, Texas-Pan American and Dayton.

Pitino has also hired Mike Balado and Kimani Young, who worked on his staff at Florida International. Balado is considering an offer to remain as an assistant at FIU but in a higher role.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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