Steve Lavin has reportedly expressed an interest in returning to coaching. The former UCLA coach from 1996 to 2003 and St. John’s coach from 2010 to 2015 has expressed interest in a West Coast gig, and with Cal and Washington both open, he’s down for a Pac-12 return.
Steve Lavin - who grew up in SF - also told me that in addition to the Washington job, Cal would be an ideal spot as well.— Jordan Schultz (@Schultz_Report) March 17, 2017
Lavin is originally from the Bay Area as well—a Marin County product from San Anselmo, he attended San Francisco State for college. Lavin actually started his coaching career as an assistant at Purdue with Gene Keady before moving onto UCLA (Keady would recruit Cuonzo Martin to Purdue just after Lavin’s departure).
Lavin’s biggest strength is his recruiting ability. As Jim Harrick’s lead recruiter (and then as the head coach at UCLA), Lavin managed to land NBA talent like Jelan McCoy, J.R. Henderson, Baron Davis, Earl Watson, Matt Barnes, Jason Kapono, Trevor Ariza and Ryan Hollins. It’s quite the talent haul, and we’.
The big issue is performance. Lavin’s UCLA teams were widely regarded as underachievers given the amount of talent he was able to recruit. After the Elite Eight appearance his first year, UCLA made the Sweet 16 four out of five seasons, but went no further.
Lavin made two NCAA tournament appearances in five years with St. John’s in 2011 and 2015, going one-and-done both times. St. John’s finished third twice and tied for fifth another time in the Big East.
Cal fans your thoughts on Lavin?