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Gophers fire Borton

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MINNEAPOLIS — After 12 seasons as women’s basketball coach at the University of Minnesota, Pam Borton was fired Friday following her fifth consecutive year missing the NCAA tournament.

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Gophers athletics director Norwood Teague, who spoke to the team and recruits about his decision, said at a news conference Friday he didn’t know a specific thing that would have saved Borton’s job.

“I don’t know if it was one exact goal,” Teague said. “Certainly, I wanted to get into the NCAA tournament. You always want to do that, no matter what program you’re talking about. That was part of it. It was just an overall evaluation of the program.

“This decision is a future decision. It’s not based on what’s been done in the past. I looked at who we are and where we’re going. I really felt like we needed new leadership for the future.”

Borton, 48, had a 214-139 record with the Gophers, including 104-94 in Big Ten play. In her final game, Minnesota lost to South Dakota State 70-62 Thursday in the third round of the WNIT to finish the season with a 22-13 record.

Borton coached Minnesota to the NCAA Final Four in 2004, but the Gophers haven’t made the NCAA tournament since the 2008-09 season. They showed promise early this season, going 10-3 in nonconference play, but opened Big Ten play 3-6 before finishing in sixth place with a 9-9 record.

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