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Goodson joins Pitino’s staff with promotion

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By LARRY GOFFINET
Sports Editor

MINNEAPOLIS—Tell City graduate Steven Goodson has joined new University of Minnesota men’s basketball coach Richard Pitino’s staff as director of basketball operations.
Goodson, 30, had been on Minnesota’s coaching staff the last six years as a special assistant to former coach Tubby Smith, who was fired last month.
Smith has since been hired as Texas Tech’s coach and offered Goodson a position on his staff there. But Goodson, who had been with Smith 12 years—starting as a student manager for his University of Kentucky team in 2001—decided to remain with the Gophers.
Money was probably a factor, as the new position triples his previous salary.
But the main factor “honestly was just the opportunity to work with a new, young and upcoming head coach,” Goodson said by telephone Friday. “I’ve known Richard (the son of University of Louisville Coach Rick Pitino) for a long time.”
Goodson said that the “familiarity with being at the University of Minnesota the last six years” was also a factor in his decision to stay there.
That familiarity with the program should be huge asset to the largely new staff.
As director of basketball promotions, “probably my most important duty is going to be scheduling opponents and making sure we have the right schedule,” he said.
He will also help plan practices, supervise players’ workouts, and “oversee the academic side of it along with the academic counselor,” he said.
He will also still be on the bench and have a voice during games. “I’ll move up a couple of seats,” he said.
The DBO position can also be a stepping stone to becoming a head coach. “You get some great opportunities from this position,” said Goodson.
He said he will be either the youngest or second youngest DBO in the Big Ten Conference. “A lot of times former head coaches will step into this spot (waiting for another opportunity to be a head coach).”
Goodson graduated from Tell City in 2001. He played for the Marksmen but was not a starter, as he once said he was not physically strong enough then.
After serving as Smith’s student manager at UK, he was a graduate assistant for Smith there before joining his staff in Minnesota.
During his time working for Smith, Goodson oversaw all video duties and assisted in running Smith’s basketball camps.
He gained additional experience as an operations intern for USA Basketball each summer 2002-06. He also assisted the U.S. coaching staff that won the gold medal at the 2005 World University Games in Turkey.
Goodson resides in Minneapolis. He is the son of Steve and Kathy Goodson of Tell City.