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Former St. John’s coach shows interest in job

For the second consecutive day, a coach with Big East Conference ties has confirmed his interest in becoming South Florida’s next men’s basketball coach.

Mike Jarvis, a college basketball analyst for ESPN and a former St. John’s coach, welcomes the opportunity to become the eighth head coach in the program’s35-year history.

“I was asked when it opened up if I would have an interest, and I basically said that I would,” Jarvis said. “Nothing really much has happened since (applying for the job), but there is not a whole lot I can say about that position.”

Jarvis spent six seasons at St. John’s and compiled a record of 110-61. During his tenure, the Red Storm advanced to the Elite Eight in 1999 and captured the Big East Conference Tournament championship the following season.

But Jarvis’ time in St. John’s was filled with turmoil. He became the first head coach in Big East history to be fired during the season after multiple players were arrested and the school was caught illicitly paying a player, causing the Red Storm to forfeit every game Abe Keita played.

Due to the scandal, the NCAA gave St. John’s two years of probation and took away a scholarship. Also, St. John’s gave itself a one-year postseason ban, reduced a scholarship for two consecutive years and gave back a significant portion of the money it made from the NIT in 2003 and the NCAA Tournament in 2002.

Jarvis hopes the troubles of his past are behind him.

“My record speaks for itself,” Jarvis said. “I’ve been a teacher and an educator for 30-something years and have had incredible success on and off the court. I guess it would be like asking a parent about something their kids did once in their lifetime.”

Even though Jarvis experienced troubles, his coaching credentials are something a team such as USF may want to consider. Jarvis is one of only four coaches to win 100 or more games with three different programs.

Prior to his time in St. John’s, Jarvis led George Washington for eight seasons, taking the Colonials to the NCAA Tournament three times, including a Sweet 16 berth in 1993 and two victories over then-ranked No. 1 Massachusetts. Jarvis finished his career there with a record of 143-100.In 1993, Jarvis was selected to coach the under-22 United States men’s basketball team, an accomplishment of which he is proud.

His collegiate coaching career began in 1985 at Boston University, where he led the Terriers to two NCAA Tournament appearances and compiled a record of 101-50.

Jarvis rose to prominence during the early 1980s as the high school coach of Patrick Ewing.

Jarvis hasn’t coached a game since Dec. 2003, and after four years, he is ready to resume his career.

“I would love to coach again, but it would have to be at the right place with the right people,” Jarvis said. “If I can find a special place, and that would be determined primarily by the people who I am working for and what their goals and missions were.”Improving a team with a4-28 record since joining the Big East two seasons ago is Athletic Director Doug Woolard’s primary focus since dismissing Robert McCullum 18 days ago.

“Every school has different criteria for selecting a coach,” Jarvis said. “I’m sure they’re looking for someone who’s a proven coach and has been successful. I’m not sure what other things are on their priority list, but every coach brings something special to the table.”

Another coach pulls out of the hunt: Fran Fraschilla, who Jarvis replaced at St. John’s in 1999, told Andy Katz of that he withdrew his name from consideration for the USF job.

Fraschilla spent 23 years coaching men’s college basketball with Manhattan, St. John’s and New Mexico prior to becoming an analyst for ESPN in 2002.

To view the transcript of the interview with Mike Jarvis, visit the Oracle Sports Blog at the Oracle Sports Blog