Tuesday , Apr , 13 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Roberts named new basketball coach at St. John’s

Jamaica, NY (Sports Network) – Norm Roberts was hired as the 18th men’s head
basketball coach at St. John’s University. He was formally introduced at a
Tuesday afternoon press conference.

For the 38-year-old Roberts, it marks a homecoming as he was born and raised
in Queens, New York and led Springfield Gardens to the 1983 PSAL
championship. He then played at Queens College before taking on the coaching
position at his alma mater at the young age of 26. Queens went 24-84 under the
leadership of Roberts, who had no recruiting budget while he was there.

“This is coming home,” said Roberts. “It’s very exciting to be coaching
in New York again, at a place where I always dreamed of doing the job. When I
was growing up, Lou Carnesecca was on the sidelines [at St. Johns] and that’s
where I dreamed of playing.”

Since then, Roberts has been an assistant to the traveling Bill Self at Oral
Roberts, Tulsa, Illinois and this past season at Kansas.

Roberts, who withdrew his name from consideration for the SMU job, has been
described as a young Paul Hewitt. Hewitt, who has spoken highly of Roberts,
guided the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets to the national championship game this

“We are very excited to have Norm take the reins of our men’s basketball
program,” said Rev. Donald J. Harrington, C.M., president of St. John’s. “At a
time when we needed a skilled coach, a leader and a man of great character, we
managed to find all three in Norm. We have every confidence that he will be
the kind of coach our University needs, leading our players both on an off the

The position at St. John’s opened when Mike Jarvis, who was in his sixth
season with the team, was fired on December 19th. Assistant Kevin Clark was
named the interim coach and the Red Storm finished the season at a
disappointing 6-21. They also failed to make the Big East Tournament after
posting a 1-15 mark in the conference.

Jarvis finished his tenure at the school with a record of 110-61.