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Ex-UCLA Coach Steve Lavin Takes Over Men's Basketball at St. John's

LOS ANGELES - MARCH 14:  UCLA head coach Steve Lavin encourages his team during the NCAA Pac-10 Conference tournament semifinals game against Oregon at the Staples Center on March 14, 2003 in Los Angeles, California.  In what could be Lavin's last game at UCLA, the University of Oregon Ducks edged the University of California Bruins 75-74.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images
Sam BlumCorrespondent IMarch 30, 2010

After many unsuccessful attempts at finding a head coach, St. John's athletic director Chris Monasch finally got the job done.

The Red Storm athletics office fired their previous coach of six years, Norm Roberts, literally one day after their buzzer beater loss to Memphis in the first round of the NIT. 

Norm Roberts had been considered a good coach by his players, and was respected in the St. John's community as the coach that had led the team to respectability after the program was amid a scandal. 

With that being said, Norm Roberts, whose only other coaching experience is at DIII Queen's college, was fired because St. John's didn't see him as the leader of what New Yorkers hope will be greatness in the near future.

Steve Lavin has plenty of coaching experience. He was once the lead man at UCLA, and an assistant at Purdue. He was fired at UCLA after a 10-19 season in 2003, and then became an analyst at ESPN. During his time seven years at UCLA, the Bruins made the tournament six times, going to the sweet 16 four times, and even the elite eight once. 

Lavin wasn't interested about coaching again, but as St. John's was in desperate need of a coach, and Lavin still on the market, the match was a perfect fit. 

Also potentially joining the St. John's team today is Barry Rohrssen. Rohrssen has been the head coach at Manhattan College (located in the Bronx) the past four seasons. He has compiled just one winning season, and this move comes likely due to the fact that his time at Manhattan was reaching an end. Rohrssen also has coaching experience at St. Francis (NY) (his Alma Mater), UNLV, and Pittsburgh. All of those jobs were assistant positions. 

St. John's is one of the lucky New York area school's. Iona, Hofstra, Wagner, and potentially Manhattan all are still in need of a head coach.

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