Monson resigns as coach at MinnesotaBy Andy Katz
Dan Monson was told earlier this week that he was likely going to be out as head coach at Minnesota, and he could either be fired or he could resign in an attempt to get a better financial settlement.
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune's Sid Hartman was the first to report Thursday that Monson was out as head coach after taking over the scandal-ridden program in 1999.
Wednesday night's 90-68 loss to Clemson in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge may have been inconsequential after sources said Thursday that Minnesota athletic director Joel Maturi told Monson that either he had to go or there would be pressure they both may be out.
So, as the hours ticked toward a 4 p.m. ET news conference Thursday, Monson and his representation were negotiating a settlement. If one wasn't reached then an announcement was coming that he would be fired instead of resigning. A source close to Monson said he is currently seeking $1.2 million. If he is fired then he would reportedly receive $1 million.
Assistant coach Jim Molinari, a former Bradley head coach, is the successor. The naming of Molinari was a bit of a surprise considering that Bill Walker had been the assistant at Minnesota since 1999.
Minnesota was off to a 2-5 start, which included going winless at the Old Spice Classic in Orlando with losses to Marist and Montana. The Gophers are on a five-game losing streak and play Arizona State on Saturday.
Monson was the hot young head coach in 1999 when he led Gonzaga to the Elite Eight, which started the Zags' run to college basketball's elite. The Zags beat Minnesota in the NCAA Tournament that year in Seattle in what would be Clem Haskins' last run with the Gophers. An academic scandal hit the program and Monson was brought in to clean it up, which he did. But the Gophers struggled to keep elite players with Rick Rickert, Joel Pryzbilla and Kris Humphries all leaving early for the NBA draft. Monson took the Gophers to four NITs and one NCAA, that coming in 2005.