Somewhere, Mike Jarvis is probably smiling.
After hearing fans rant and rave for his job at home games, theinevitable happened on Dec. 19, as St. John’s officially announcedthe firing.
On that day, the men’s basketball team’s record was 2-4.
Ten games later and much hasn’t changed. Losing six straight forthe first time since the 1996-97 season and losing its first sixconference games for the first time ever, St. John’s (4-12, 0-6)has a record of 2-8 since Jarvis was fired.
Jarvis was appointed the program’s head coach on June 11, 1998after spending the previous eight seasons as head coach at GeorgeWashington University from 1989 to 1998.
In six-plus seasons, Jarvis had much success, leading St. John’sto an NIT Championship, a Big East Championship, an Elite Eightappearance and an overall record of 110-61.
Athletic director Dave Wegrzyn informed the media that thedecision was made to make a coaching change after an overall reviewof the program and didn’t provide specific details.
Jarvis had gone on WFAN radio a day before the season startedand stated his discomfort with the facilities at SJU, words thatdid not sit well with University President, the Rev. Donald J.Harrington, C.M.
But the biggest reason for Jarvis’s lack of supporters was hisrecruiting, or lack thereof. That fact was none more evident thanin the Red Storm’s 78-70 loss at Rutgers this past Saturday.
Quincy Douby, who played at Grady High in Brooklyn, was the maincatalyst for the Scarlet Knights, scoring 16 second-half points.After the game he discussed how Jarvis hardly recruited him andwhen he did meet with the coach he learned junior college playerswere being recruited to play the same position and he would have toplay behind them.
“It would have made me feel a little better if he was there,”Douby told the New York Daily News on Saturday. “I could have justshook his hand and looked in his face and smiled at him.”
Newspapers reported that Jarvis was stunned when he learned thenews of his dismissal.
Jarvis was in his sixth year of a seven-year deal that paid him$725,000 annually. Jarvis will walk away from St. John’s with morethan $1 million.
“I am not upset about what’s happened because that’s whathappens in this profession that I chose,” Jarvis said at a pressconference held Dec. 19, as it was reported in local papers. “Butthis is what I love to do. I want to coach now more than ever.”