Thursday , Nov , 30 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Monson calling it quits at Minnesota

Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) – The University of Minnesota men’s
basketball coach Dan Monson announced his resignation on Thursday.

Assistant coach Jim Molinari will take over on an interim basis.

“It would be in the best interest of the program for me to resign
immediately,” Monson said. “I’ve got great respect for Mol (Molinari). It can
be best for the players and the university.”

Monson was in his eighth season with the Golden Gophers, who are off to a 2-5
start and dropped a 90-68 home decision to Clemson on Wednesday as part of the
ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

The Gophers have a record of 118-106 under Monson, who took over the program
in July 1999 after Clem Haskins was bought out of his contract following
reports of academic fraud.

“I leave the University of Minnesota with a great deal of pride,” Monson said.
“I came here to restore respect to the program, and I have no apologies for
where the program is.”

NCAA sanctions limited Monson’s early recruiting, but Minnesota still earned
five postseason bids during the coach’s tenure, including one NCAA Tournament

Monson’s 2004-05 squad was 21-11 and lost in the first round of the NCAA
Tournament. The team dipped to 16-15 last season and lost in the second round
of the NIT.

Before taking the Minnesota job, Monson helped build Gonzaga into a national
power. He was an assistant coach at the West Coast Conference school from 1988
until taking over the top job in 1997.

In two years at Gonzaga’s helm, the Bulldogs were 52-17 and nearly made the
Final Four of the 1999 NCAA Tournament, losing to eventual national champion
Connecticut in a regional final.

Molinari has been an assistant at Minnesota since 2004 and has previously been
a head coach at Northern Illinois from 1989-91 and Bradley from 1991-2002. In
13 years as a collegiate head coach, Molinari owns a record of 218-167.