Nearly six months after parting ways with St. John’s, former UCLA head coach Steve Lavin has landed back on the West Coast.
The 51-year-old has joined the Pac-12 Networks as as a men’s basketball analyst. Lavin reached four Sweet Sixteens and an Elite Eight with the Bruins from 1997-2002, but never got the Red Storm past the NCAA Tournament’s round of 64.
Lavin had one year remaining on his six-year contract with St. John’s, but extension negotiations stalled this spring, leading the school to hire former star Chris Mullin. A source told the Arizona Republic that Lavin had strong interest in coaching at Arizona State, but the Sun Devils hired Buffalo’s Bobby Hurley.
The San Francisco native will join an on-air talent team that also includes Kevin O’Neill, Mike Montgomery, Don MacLean and Bill Walton.
“I have an inherent comfort level and familiarity with the Pac-12 Conference, having already spent 12 years coaching basketball at UCLA,” Lavin said in a statement. “That history makes returning to the Pac-12 as a broadcaster an ideal opportunity. I’m eager for the college basketball season to begin and look forward to contributing as an analyst on the Pac-12 Networks’ coverage.”
Four-star point guard Rysheed Jordan picked St. John’s this morning, joining former UCLA head coach Steve Lavin in New York City. The Philadelphia product turned down hometown Temple as well as the Bruins.
Ranked No. 29 by Rivals.com and No. 53 by Scout.com, Jordan was the nation’s highest-ranked uncommitted recruit after No. 1 prospect Andrew Wiggins.
The move leaves UCLA without much depth at the point after the departure of Larry Drew II. Ben Howland had said before his firing that Kyle Anderson would play full-time at the one on offense, but that may change under new coach Steve Alford. Incoming freshman shooting guards Allerick Freeman and Zach LaVine may also slide in for some minutes.
Former UCLA head coach Steve Lavin decided to pipe in on his old school’s coaching search today. On SiriusXM’s College Sports Nation channel, he wondered why the Bruins the process has lasted almost a full week since Ben Howland’s official firing on Sunday.
“I’m surprised that they didn’t have their pick [waiting] in the wings because historically, programs like UCLA, they’ve got someone in the wings,” said Lavin, now coaching at St. John’s. “They are kinda treading water, but there’s been the wink and the understanding that it is a done deal.
“I know in my case Ben Howland was someone that was really in position six months, maybe even a year, in advance of him becoming the coach.” Continue reading “Steve Lavin surprised UCLA didn’t have coach ‘in the wings’” »