Since Steve Lavin‘s name first surfaced as a candidate at St. John’s, I was excited. It doesn’t matter that he hasn’t coached for the past six years after he was fired at UCLA in 2003, Lavin was the right man for the job. Today, apparently the powers at be at St. John’s felt the same: according to a school spokesman, the school has hired the ESPN analyst and former UCLA coach to succeed Norm Roberts.
St. John’s has been searching for a big-name hire to increase the team’s profile in the New York media market. The university made an overture to Florida’s Billy Donovan and a formal offer to Georgia Tech’s Paul Hewitt, who declined.
The Red Storm also interviewed former Boston College coach Al Skinner and former Siena coach Fran McCaffery, who took the Iowa job, and were interested in talking to Rhode Island’s Jim Baron.
It will certainly be an uphill battle for Lavin. St. John’s hasn’t been to the Big Dance since 2002, and finished 17-16 overall and 6-12 in the Big East this season. Inheriting a team that could return 10 seniors for 2010-11, it will be interesting to see if he can put his stamp on this team right away or if he’ll have to wait a year.
What are your thoughts?
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