- Andy Katz, ESPN Senior Writer
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St. John's coach Steve Lavin has added former Purdue coach Gene Keady to his staff.
Lavin told ESPN.com on Thursday that Keady, 74, will serve as the executive assistant or adviser to the head coach. Lavin said Keady will stay with St. John's from October to April and then make cameo appearances in the offseason as necessary. Keady also can be on the bench for games.
St. John's was expected to make the official announcement on Friday.
"The main responsibility that he'll have with St. John's basketball program will be to be here from October to April to observe practices, be in our coaching staff meetings and helping with our practice planning," Lavin said.
Lavin worked for Keady at Purdue from 1988-91 when current Boilermakers coach Matt Painter was on the team. Lavin then left Purdue to work under Jim Harrick at UCLA, ultimately serving as the Bruins' head coach for seven seasons from 1996-2003.
"He [Keady] was the first phone call I made just prior to my interview," Lavin said. "Throughout the process, he was someone I was thinking of as an ideal senior advisor to our staff."
Keady coached at Purdue from 1980-2005, reaching the postseason 22 times and winning six Big Ten titles. Keady worked as an analyst for the Big Ten Network after he retired from Purdue.
"I wanted that grandfather presence with our team," Lavin said. "Coach Keady has the energy, vitality, and a great deal to offer us. The timing and the fit just seemed right."
Before being hired by St. John's in March, Lavin worked for ESPN as an analyst the past seven years. He said he had always thought of hiring Keady if he ever got back into coaching.
"He's a Yankee fan and he loves New York," Lavin said. "When I was the UCLA coach, we even came to a few Yankee playoff games and [his late wife] Pat loved going to [Broadway] shows. I became the head coach of St. John's and it all just seemed right."
Andy Katz is a senior college basketball writer for ESPN.com.