[to top of second column]
Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt rejected an offer from St. John's last week. Al Skinner, who was fired by Boston College on Tuesday, also was interviewed.
St. John's athletic director Chris Monasch said Lavin "fit all the criteria we had established."
"In hindsight we wound up with the best guy," he said.
Lavin was fired by UCLA after going 10-19, his only losing season and the school's first in 55 years. It was the only season in which one of Lavin's UCLA teams did not win at least 20 games.
He was succeeded by former Pittsburgh coach Ben Howland.
"I'm very happy for Steve," Howland said Tuesday. "St. John's has got an outstanding tradition and history. It's going to be exciting for him after being out of coaching for seven years and (now being) in the biggest media market in the United States.
"I'm sure he'll do an outstanding job."
Lavin, who had five years remaining on his contract when he was fired, fell into the job when Jim Harrick was fired in November 1996 -- only a week before the season began and 19 months after the Bruins won their 11th national championship. With Harrick assistants Mark Gottfried and Lorenzo Romar already having taken head jobs, then-athletic director Peter Dalis promoted Lavin from unproven assistant to head coach.
His teams at UCLA beat four No. 1-ranked teams, but in his final season, the Bruins had a then-record 10 losses at Pauley Pavilion and the average attendance of 8,348 in the 12,819-seat arena was the lowest since 1993.
Ten of UCLA's national championships were won under coach John Wooden in the 1960s and 1970s. The other was under Harrick in 1995 -- when Lavin was the No. 3 assistant.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
< Sports index
Back to top
News | Sports | Business | Rural Review | Teaching & Learning | Home and Family | Tourism | Obituaries
Law & Courts |
Spiritual Life |
Health & Fitness |
Calendar | Letters to the Editor