St. John’s considers Hobbs

GW men’s basketball head coach Karl Hobbs has emerged as a candidate for the vacant head coaching position at St. John’s University, The New York Times reported Friday.

In the article, “a friend of the program” named Hobbs as a potential replacement for Mike Jarvis, who was fired in December. Jarvis coached at GW from 1990 to 1998 before leaving for St. John’s.

Hobbs told The Hatchet Friday that he had not seen the article and declined to comment further.

GW Director of Athletics Jack Kvancz said he is not concerned about losing Hobbs, who is currently under contract until 2008, adding that it is common practice for colleges to compile lists of potential candidates without any indication of the candidates’ interest.

“We all make lists, but do you believe everything you hear?” he said. “Am I overly concerned? No. We’ll see if (St. John’s) talks to him. Until he walks into my office and says, ‘I’m going to interview there,’ I won’t be concerned.”

The article also named Providence College head coach Tim Welsh and Manhattan College head coach Bobby Gonzalez as potential candidates.

Hobbs’ young Colonials team had a breakout season this year. He led a squad with only one senior and two juniors to an 18-12 record and a trip to the National Invitation Tournament, its first postseason berth since 1999.

“He’s done a great job here, and I hope he continues to do a great job,” Kvancz said. “I think he’s happy here.”

In May 2003, Hobbs signed a contract extension with the Colonials through 2008. At the time, Kvancz said the program was headed in the right direction and that he foresaw future interest in Hobbs.

“What I don’t want to have happen is for him to have a great year and then by the time I decide to do something, (another school) gets him,” Kvancz told The Hatchet last May.

The St. John’s job has been considered prestigious in the past based on the school’s basketball history, its location in New York City and its membership in the Big East, but the last year has seen failure on the court and problems off it.

The Red Storm did not make the NCAA Tournament in 2003 and began this year 1-4, before Jarvis was fired in December. At that point, it had been the worst start to a Red Storm season since the 1922-23 campaign.

In addition, senior Willie Shaw was kicked off the team after being arrested and charged for possession of marijuana in November, and more problems plagued the program in the months after Jarvis was dismissed.

In February, the Associated Press reported Red Storm center Abraham Keita said he received $300 a month from a member of the team’s staff. Keita and several other players were also suspended after an incident involving a prostitute who falsely claimed she was raped because the players failed to pay her for sex.

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.