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CEDAR FALLS — Multiple sources have confirmed to The Gazette an original report from KSTP-TV in Minneapolis that Northern Iowa men's basketball coach Ben Jacobson interviewed this past weekend for the University of Minnesota job.
The Gophers fired Richard Pitino last week after he had compiled a 54-96 regular-season record in eight years as head coach.
Jacobson is coming off a 10-15 season at UNI that was headlined by a season-ending hip injury to 2019-2020 Missouri Valley Conference player of the year AJ Green.
The job, however, will go to former UNI assistant and Gopher standout Ben Johnson, according to multiple reports. Johnson has been an assistant at Xavier since 2018. He was on the UNI staff from 2008-12.
BREAKING: Minnesota is expected to hire Xavier assistant Ben Johnson as its next head coach, sources told ESPN.March 22, 2021
BREAKING: Minnesota is expected to hire Xavier assistant Ben Johnson as its next head coach, sources told ESPN.
— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello)
In 2019-20, the Panthers finished 25-6 and were on the NCAA tournament bubble before the COVID-19 pandemic forced its cancellation.
Jacobson has compiled a 291-174 career record at UNI, including four NCAA tournament appearances and four NCAA tournament wins.
In his 14 years as head coach, his most notable accomplishments include a 2010 Sweet 16 appearance — highlighted by a second-round win over top-seeded Kansas — a 31-4 record in 2014-15 and a 2015 non-conference win over top-ranked North Carolina.
He is currently under contract through 2027.