MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The University of Minnesota announced Monday the hire of Xavier assistant coach Ben Johnson as the Golden Gophers’ next basketball coach.

“Ben is a proven coach who is ready to lead his own program,” Athletics Director Mark Coyle said in a 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.”

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Johnson, a Minneapolis native, graduated from Minnesota in 2005. He played two seasons with the Gophers and coached there as an assistant from 2013-2018.

He has also coached at the University of Nebraska, Northern Iowa, Texas-Pan American and the University of Dayton.

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It’s a five-year contract for Johnson, according to a release.

Last Monday, Minnesota announced that the men’s basketball program and former head coach Richard Pitino are parting ways. Pitino has since been hired by New Mexico as the basketball head coach.

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