St. John’s Renews Norm Roberts’ Contract

The theme for Red Storm basketball next year will be “new.” There’ll be a new Carnesecca Arena and a new backcourt. But the one thing that isn’t changing is the head coach.

Director of Athletics Chris Monasch announced the renewal of Norm Roberts’ contract on Friday.

In February, the University released a statement affirming that Roberts would return for the 2008-09 season. The terms of a long-term contract, however, were unknown until Friday’s announcement.

Roberts and the University agreed to a five-year rollover contract. The terms of the current deal are set until the end of the 2012-13 season with the rollover provision possibly allowing additional years if the University sees fit. The provision also leaves room for minor contractual changes while Roberts is with St. John’s.

The official announcement was delayed until both sides were satisfied with the deal.

Roberts wanted to revise some outdated language from his 2004 contract.

“This agreement shows the commitment that St. John’s is making to me and my staff, to continue to build our program and make it as strong as it possibly can be, not just now but for the long term,” Roberts told Redstormsports.com. “We believe that we are building a solid foundation with our young players. They are working hard every single day to improve individually and as a team. We are increasing our talent level all the time, and we know as a program we are getting better every day.”

Monasch said that the delay was not the result of a University search for a different coach for next season.

“These things take time,” Monasch said. “Both parties wanted to get it done right.

“Coach Roberts has established the foundation for a successful program – integrity, hard work, and discipline,” he added. “We are pleased with what Norm and his staff have accomplished over the past four years. We expect to be successful and we certainly feel the program is improving. This good group of players bodes well for the future.”

Roberts said that contract talks began during the season, right before the March 1 game against Seton Hall.

The Red Storm finished 11-19 last year, missing the Big East tournament with a 5-13 conference record. Roberts’ record with the Johnnies is now 48-67, including a 20-46 mark in Big East competition.

Roberts is currently looking forward to preseason activities. TyShwan Edmondson and Quincy Roberts, St. John’s first recruits for next season, are scheduled to report to strength and conditioning coaches in early July. The coaching staff, according to Roberts, is continuing to scout prospective recruits.

The University still has two scholarships to give out for men’s basketball.