Steve Lavin out as coach

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Friday, March 27, 2015

NEW YORK -- St. John's coach Steve Lavin and the school have mutually agreed to part ways after five seasons.

Lavin met with school officials multiple times this week. reported earlier in the week that Lavin and the school were deep into talks on a contract extension.

Lavin led the Red Storm to the NCAA tournament, where they lost to San Diego State in the second round last Friday.

"Coach Lavin returned high expectations to our men's basketball program and represented St. John's in a positive way," St. John's athletic director Chris Monasch said in a statement Friday. "We appreciate his commitment to the program and to our student-athletes over the past five years."

St. John's is interested in former NBA player and St. John's star Chris Mullin as Lavin's replacement. Mullin, who led St. John's to the 1985 Final Four, works as an adviser for the Sacramento Kings. St. John's also could pursue coaches Bobby Hurley (Buffalo) or Dan Hurley (Rhode Island), according to a source.

Lavin coached the Red Storm to two NCAA appearances and two NITs in five seasons. He missed one season while recovering from cancer

"In life change is inevitable, so I take the long view. I'm grateful for my time teaching at St. John's University," Lavin said in the school-issued statement. "I will take with me the lasting friendships forged during my tenure as head coach. I'm proud of our results both on and off the court -- in particular our memorable runs to the NCAA tournament in 2011 and 2015."

Following the announcement of Lavin's departure came news that recruit Brandon Sampson would reconsider his oral commitment to the Red Storm. Sampson is a shooting guard out of Madison Prep (La.).

"St. John's will still be considered once he finds out who the new coach is," Jeff Jones, Sampson's high school coach, told ESPN's Jeff Borzello. "It's a good thing he only committed and didn't sign, so he's not locked in. St. John's is still an option. He'll just wait and see what the new coach brings in, and what he wants. They're still on him. I've had 10 or 11 schools reach out to me in the last hour. He's got options."'s Andy Katz contributed to this report.

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