Commentary

Red Storm hire new head coach

Updated: March 30, 2010, 5:34 PM ET
By Dick Vitale | ESPN.com

I really believe St. John's hit a home run with the hiring of Steve Lavin as its new head coach.

Remember, Lavin had great success in a big city before, not to mention the charisma, energy and enthusiasm he brings to the job. He did a great job out at UCLA, leading the Bruins to five Sweet 16 appearances in a six-year span.

Lavin will bring excitement back to the St. John's program. His past achievements and experience will help college basketball in the Big Apple, as the Red Storm have yet to match the success that Looie Carnesecca's clubs had in the 80s. St. John's has not been to the NCAA tournament since 2002 and it last made it to the Final Four in 1985.

I believe he will go out and get a solid coaching staff to help recruit in New York City. Recruiting will be so important for the Red Storm to revitalize the program.

While I feel Lavin has done a solid job on television, this is a good move to return to coaching. It was obvious he should be coaching with his passion and love of the game and teaching. I believe he can bring St. John's back into a prominent role in the Big East.

When St. John's is a factor, Madison Square Garden is rocking and rolling and the Big East is even stronger. My friends, St. John's athletic director Chris Monasch did the right thing, making a big splash by hiring Steve Lavin as the school's new head coach.

Dick Vitale

College Basketball analyst
Dick Vitale, college basketball's top analyst and ambassador, joined ESPN during the 1979-80 season. His thorough knowledge of the game is brought forth in an enthusiastic, passionate style. Vitale also contributes columns to ESPN.com.