Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
SYRACUSE — Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt called St. John’s at about 1 p.m. Thursday and said he would not accept the job, according to a source with direct knowledge.
“He’s not taking the job,” the source said.
Hewitt has a wife, three daughters, parents and a younger brother in the Atlanta area and cited “family reasons,” among others.
“My family and I have developed deep ties to Georgia Tech and the city of Atlanta,” Hewitt said in a statement. “I strongly believe in what Georgia Tech can do for young people, and I am committed to returning the Tech basketball program to the level of success our fans have come to expect. We took a step in that direction this past season, and I fully intend to continue on that path.”
Hewitt met St. John’s AD Chris Monasch Tuesday night in Atlanta to hear him out, but decided to stay in Atlanta instead.
St. John’s has now struck out on Florida coach Billy Donovan and Hewitt. Tom Pecora is also not an option because he left Hofstra to take the Fordham job.
Expect the program to target Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg, although he does not have a good relationship with the New York AAU coaches and has reportedly told his players he won’t leave the ACC school.
“If a coach tells a player that he’s going to be here and tells your parents he’s going to be here and he doesn’t [stay], then I’ll have some different things to say, but I’m pretty sure he’ll be back here,” Virginia Tech guard Malcolm Delaneysaid several days ago, according to NewsAdvance.com.
Greenberg reportedly made $950,000 this past year but will renegotiate the terms of his six-year deal soon. He has four years left on his current contract, according to NewsAdvance.com.
According to the Journal-Constitution, Hewitt’s base salary this season was $1.375 million.
St. John’s is reportedly offering more than $1.5 million and Monasch said he was willing to make the new coach one of the top 25 highest-paid coaches in the country.
“Yes, we are ready to make that commitment,” Monasch said.
Monasch fired Norm Roberts last Thursday after six seasons and said he wanted to target a coach with experience taking a BCS school to the NCAA Tournament.
“We want to hire someone who has a record of success of getting into the NCAA Tournament,” Monasch said. “In trying to find the right person, probably the safest choice is someone who has done it at this level, someone who believes in the mission of school and understands New York.”
**Hewitt meets with St. John’s, no offer made
**Florida says “zero truth” to Donovan story
**Next St. John’s coach faces critical recruiting period
**Norm Roberts fired after six seasons
(Photos courtesy Georgia Tech)
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.