Patsos in running to join Lavin as assistant coach at St. John's

April 02, 2010|By Ken Murray | ken.murray@baltsun.com

Jimmy Patsos, the former Maryland assistant who restored credibility to the Loyola basketball program, is a candidate to join Steve Lavin's new coaching staff at St. John's.

Two different reports in New York newspapers identified Patsos as a potential hire for Lavin after the former UCLA coach received a six-year contract Wednesday to coach the Red Storm.

Patsos did not respond to messages left on his cell phone, but Loyola's outgoing director of athletics, Joe Boylan, was optimistic the coach would remain in Baltimore.

"Jimmy's very open with me," Boylan said. "We have a very good relationship. I fully expect him to be back next year."

Boylan said he spoke with Patsos on Wednesday about the opportunity to join Lavin. He said Patsos was in Indianapolis for this weekend's Final Four.

Boylan hired Patsos in April 2004 after Loyola suffered five consecutive seasons with at least 21 losses, culminating in a 1-27 season under Scott Hicks in 2003-04.

Patsos lost 22 games his first years but produced above-.500 seasons the next three years, winning 15, 18 and 19 games. The Greyhounds slipped to 12-20 and 13-17 the past two years. They were 12-12 this season before losing five of their last six games.

In six years at Loyola, Patsos is 83-99, including 50-58 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and 2-6 in the MAAC tournament.

When Lavin was introduced at St. John's on Wednesday, the former ESPN analyst said he wanted to bring in assistants with recruiting experience in the Northeast and in Atlantic Coast Conference territory. Patsos, a native of Boston, served 13 seasons under Gary Williams at Maryland. He was an assistant on seven Sweet 16 teams and the Terps' national championship team in 2002.

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