Saturday, May 3, 2008

Mike Jarvis Should be Next FAU Hoops Coach

The Florida Atlantic basketball program may end up snagging another big name in replacing departed coach Rex Walters.

Mike Jarvis, Boca Raton resident and former head coach at St. John's, George Washington and Boston University is said to be interested in the job. It would be natural for the Owls to reciprocate that interest.

FAU has been lucky at getting famous, if not infamous, coaches to lead the Owls' student-athletes.

Remember before Walters, the coach for a year was Matt Doherty, who is now coaching at Southern Methodist in Dallas. Doherty came to FAU a couple of years after being run out of North Carolina.

Howard Schnellenberger, for all the wonder, aura and majesty he brings from his days as a National and Super Bowl champion coach, also came to FAU after some rough times. After resurrecting Miami and bringing Louisville to national prominence, Schnelly took the job at Oklahoma. He only lasted a year before he was run out of town. Rumors swirled that he was drinking too much and recruiting to little, so the Sooners said so long. It wasn't long after that when he came to start FAU's program and ensure friends and fans that the Oklahoma disaster was a bump in an otherwise smooth and glorious career.

That brings me back to Jarvis. A celebrated and winning coach who left St. Johns a few years back amid threats of NCAA sanctions. It was the first time that Jarvis had ever been accused of wrongdoing, however it seemingly ended his coaching career.

Jarvis was inducted into the George Washington Sports Hall of Fame for what he did at that program (143-100). He didn't have a bad run at Boston U either (101-50). At St. Johns he was 110-61 before he was fired.

But he is getting up there in years, and nobody has toched this guy after the St. John's situation. Will FAU pass on a coach with nine NCAA tournament appearances, two trips to the Sweet Sixteen and one to the Elite Eight? Jarvis' overall record is 364-201! He is one of four Division I coaches to have won 100 games at three different colleges! FAU shouldn't stop him from making it four.

When the other candidates include Villanova assistant Pat Chambers, current assistant Mike Balado, and Georgia Southern head coach Jeff Price, I think it would be foolish for FAU not to give Jarvis the job.

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