Gonzalez leaves Manhattan to coach Seton Hall
SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. -- New Seton Hall coach Bobby Gonzalez is ready to lead a big-time college basketball program.
Gonzalez took over the Big East school Friday after guiding Manhattan for the last seven years.
"I came up through the ranks. I've paid my dues and I feel like I belong here and I'm ready," Gonzalez said at a news conference.
Gonzalez led the Jaspers to NCAA Tournament appearances in 2002-2003 and 2003-2004. Before that, he was an assistant at Xavier, Providence and Virginia.
Under Gonzalez, Manhattan finished 20-11 last season and won its third MAAC regular-season title in the last four years.
He succeeds Louis Orr, who was fired by Seton Hall last month after five seasons. Orr was 80-69 and led the Pirates to the NCAA Tournament twice and the NIT in 2003, when he was named Big East coach of the year. Seton Hall was 18-12 in 2005-2006 and lost 86-66 to Wichita State as a No. 10 seed in the first round of the NCAA tournament.
Gonzalez has deep roots in New York -- he coached at the high school and AAU levels before becoming an assistant to Pete Gillen at Xavier in 1993 -- and will be counted on to raise Seton Hall's recruiting profile in the city.
An inability to recruit in the New York metropolitan area was cited by Seton Hall athletic director Joseph Quinlan as a primary reason for Orr's departure.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press