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Rivals Article on Mike Jarvis

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Rivals Article on Mike Jarvis

http://collegebasketball.rivals.com/content.asp?CID=832399

Mike Jarvis spent five years searching for a second chance. It turns out he didn't have to leave home to find it.

Florida Atlantic hired Jarvis in May. Jarvis, 63, has been living only five miles from the school's campus in Boca Raton since his last coaching job in 2003.

"I guess we saved on moving expenses," FAU athletic director Craig Angelos said jokingly.

Landing Jarvis was far more than a budget-shaving move for the Owls, who have had four coaches in the last three years. He was one of the biggest names and most successful coaches available.



Mike Jarvis has been living five miles from FAU's Boca Raton, Fla., campus.

Jarvis has taken three programs to the NCAA tournament and made nine total trips to the Big Dance. The New England native is one of only four Division-I coaches to win 100 games at three schools. At St. John's, his last stop, he guided the Red Storm to a Big East title and was a basket away from the Final Four in 1999.

So, how did FAU – a relatively young mid-major program that's had trouble just holding onto a coach – land someone with that kind of resume? It's largely because a lot of other schools were afraid of the baggage that Jarvis carries.

In fact, FAU was afraid three years ago when Jarvis spoke with Angelos about the Owls' opening. At the time, the NCAA was still investigating Jarvis for possible violations during his six-year tenure at St. John's. The Owls decided to go with former North Carolina coach Matt Doherty, who bolted for SMU after one year.

"I liked Mike a lot, but thought it would be prudent to have the situation fully resolved before we move forward," Angelos said.

After a two-year investigation, the NCAA found that former St. John's player Abraham Keita received cash payments of nearly $15,000 from a member of Jarvis' staff. Jarvis was not found guilty of supplying the money but was cited for "failure to monitor" the program. In addition, several of his former players were arrested or suspended for other violations while he was at St. John's.

The school forfeited a scholarship for two years, banned itself from postseason play for a year, returned all of its 2002 NCAA tournament revenue and forfeited all 42 games in which the player saw minutes. The NCAA found those penalties to be adequate.

Angelos, who worked as an NCAA legislative assistant from 1991-94, admits he was expecting a more severe punishment, perhaps something more targeted at Jarvis. Soon after former FAU coach Rex Walters took off abruptly for an opening at the University of San Francisco in April, Angelos got in touch with Jarvis. But it wasn't until numerous conversations about his troubles at St. John's that Angelos ultimately offered the job.

"I expected the finding to be worse," Angelos said. "The (NCAA) did not think it was necessary to go the route of banning him from coaching. I talked to a lot of people in the NCAA about it. I talked with Mike extensively about it. In fact, I know he was tired of talking about it. He's been out of coaching for five years and I think he's learned his lessons. He will come back stronger."

Nobody was more pleased to find a D-I athletic director who felt that way more than Jarvis. Since parting ways with St. John's, Jarvis worked as an analyst for ESPN and Yahoo! Sports, but he's desperately wanted to get back on the bench. He spent two of the last three summers coaching teams overseas for Athletes In Action and interviewed or applied for jobs at Brown, Harvard, James Madison and Stanford.

"I enjoyed working the games for ESPN much more than the studio work, because it was the closest thing to coaching," Jarvis said. "I missed it more than I thought. I missed the competition. I missed traveling with the team. I missed being in the locker room after wins and even after losses. That forces you to come to grips with reality."

Jarvis is taking a realistic approach to his new players. The Owls return three double-digit scorers, including senior big man Carlos Monroe, who averaged 15.4 ppg and 9.5 rpg last season. Also returning are four other players who saw significant minutes from a team that went 15-18.

"We were not a .500 team last year," Jarvis said. "So, you can say the good news is that we have a lot of guys coming back; or the bad news is we have a lot of guys coming back. I'm hoping it's the first part."

FAU was in danger of losing one of its top veterans. Senior shooting guard Paul Graham III, who averaged 14 ppg last season, filled out the paperwork to be enter the NBA Draft. His father, Snoop Graham, played three years with the Atlanta Hawks. But after a one-on-one discussion with Jarvis, the younger Graham chose to stay in school.



At three previous coaching stops, Mike Jarvis has made a total of nine trips to the NCAA Tournament.

"Once I talked with (Jarvis) I told him I was pulling out," Graham said. "He was easy to (talk to). He's a down-to-earth guy. He said he's going to help me be a better player and help our team achieve our goals."

Jarvis believes he's found some help for Graham and his current teammates as well. The Owls will have at least four newcomers next season, including point guard Alex Tucker out of Southern California.

"I can't believe we got him," Jarvis said. "He's got a chance to be a very special leader."

Jarvis likens his situation at FAU to when he took over at George Washington in 1990. The Colonials had gone 1-27 two seasons prior. But worse yet, there was little history or tradition from which to draw.

Jarvis went on to turn George Washington into one of the nation's premier mid-major programs, leading the Colonials to four NCAA Tournament appearances in the 1990s - including a trip to the Sweet 16 in 1993.

"This is very similar to GW," Jarvis said. "There was no winning tradition there. They hadn't made the NCAA tournament since the JFK era. There wasn't a strong fan base or a lot of funding."

FAU began its basketball program only 20 years ago and reached one NCAA tournament as a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference in 2002. The Owls, who joined the Sun Belt in 2006, struggle to get attention in a South Florida market where they must compete for sports fans with the University of Miami, nearby Florida International University and Miami's pro franchises. Angelos said he had that all in mind when he hired Jarvis.

"We could have just plugged in the next best X's and O's guy, but our program is in such a fragile existence," Angelos said. "We are fighting for a fan base and looking to promote our program.

"Mike was the best fit of anyone to manage all those things. He's part of a church with 7,000 members and a lot of those people were endorsing him. He's firmly entrenched in this community. He lives in a very nice neighborhood here and has built up a network here."

Many of those church members and neighbors came to the news conference at which Jarvis was introduced as FAU's new head coach. It was there that Jarvis promised "before very long" the Owls would be in the NCAA tournament.

If the Owls do reach the field of 65 under Jarvis, it's probable that some bigger schools will try to lure him away from FAU. Angelos has put some plans in place to try and prevent such a move. If after this season Jarvis breaks his four-year contract, which pays a base of $175,000 a year, he must pay a $300,000 penalty. If he does it in the second or third year of his deal, the penalty is $200,000.

But Angelos doesn't expect to get any money back. He believes he's finally found a coach who wants to stick around at FAU.

"It's unrealistic to expect a guy to camp out here for the rest of his career," Angelos said. "But obviously we would prefer to get three or four years out of someone. Mainly, we wanted someone with a lot of hunger. We really think Mike has a chip on his shoulder to get on back on top and to go out on his terms. He has a fire in his belly."

Jarvis year-by-year
Mike Jarvis has won at least 100 games at three Division-I schools. Here's a complete look at his coaching record year by year.
Year School Overall Conference Postseason
1985-86 Boston University 21-10 13-5 NIT First Round
1986-87 Boston University 18-12 12-6 None
1987-88 Boston University 23-8 14-4 NCAA First Round
1988-89 Boston University 21-9 14-4 None
1989-90 Boston University 18-12 9-3 NCAA First Round
1990-91 George Washington 19-12 10-8 None
1991-92 George Washington 16-12 8-8 NCAA Sweet 16
1992-93 George Washington 21-9 8-6 NCAA Second Round
1993-94 George Washington 18-12 8-8 NCAA First Round
1994-95 George Washington 18-14 10-6 NCAA First Round
1995-96 George Washington 21-8 13-3 NCAA First Round
1996-97 George Washington 15-14 8-8 NCAA First Round
1997-98 George Washington 24-9 11-5 NCAA First Round
1998-99 St. John's 28-9 14-4 NCAA Regional Final
1999-00 St. John's 25-8 2-4 NCAA Second Round
2000-01* St. John's 14-15 8-8 None
2001-02* St. John's 20-12 9-7 NCAA First Round
2002-03* St. John's 21-13 7-9 NIT Champions
2003-04* St. John's 2-4 0-0
Totals  363-202 (.613) 188-106 (.623)
* - These seasons were part of the 42 combined wins that St. John's forfeited for using an illegal player.


Teambeer is the most knowledgeable FAU sports fan I know, way smarter than me.
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Re: Rivals Article on Mike Jarvis

Great article.

walty12 said

Jarvis is taking a realistic approach to his new players. The Owls return three double-digit scorers, including senior big man Carlos Monroe, who averaged 15.4 ppg and 9.5 rpg last season. Also returning are four other players who saw significant minutes from a team that went 15-18.

"We were not a .500 team last year," Jarvis said. "So, you can say the good news is that we have a lot of guys coming back; or the bad news is we have a lot of guys coming back. I'm hoping it's the first part."

Ooft.

walty12 said

FAU was in danger of losing one of its top veterans. Senior shooting guard Paul Graham III, who averaged 14 ppg last season, filled out the paperwork to be enter the NBA Draft. His father, Snoop Graham, played three years with the Atlanta Hawks. But after a one-on-one discussion with Jarvis, the younger Graham chose to stay in school.

Hopefully this means Graham will see more playing time since he'll want to boost his numbers if he wants to have a legitimate shot at the Draft.

P.S. I don't respond to guest posts. All guests are encouraged to register with the site.
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