Friday, October 15, 2010

Another Legend Storms Into Queens

Gene Keady, long associated with Purdue, has a new home at St. John's as a special assistant to coach Steve Lavin, who was an assistant under Keady for the Boilermakers in the 1980s. (Photo courtesy of Baltimore Sun)

All year, St. John's has made a name for itself since bringing Steve Lavin back to the sidelines after seven years as an analyst. Earlier tonight, the Johnnies added one more man to the program as Lavin reciprocated a favor that was done to him over two decades ago by hiring former Purdue coach Gene Keady as a special assistant.

Keady will not coach on the floor per NCAA rules, but his presence around Carnesecca Arena will no doubt add color and experience to an already versatile Red Storm staff. Keady already made a strong impression at his introductory press conference about an hour ago, Keady thanked Lavin and his staff for the opportunity while hailing his new boss as having "talked about this regularly for several years" when asked about Lavin's desire to return to the coaching fraternity.

Among some of the other things Keady was asked was how Lavin would resonate with recruits, to which he once again lauded his former protege. "He looks them in the eye and teaches them the right things," said Keady of Lavin's demeanor toward prospective Johnnies. Yours truly also asked the former Boilermakers leader about how far he felt Lavin had come since arriving on the bench in Indiana as a kid in his early twenties. "Light-years," responded Keady after I asked his opinion on Lavin's evolution. "He's learned from that experience at UCLA. He's got the character traits to be a very successful coach. I hope I can help him."

Fans of the Johnnies feel that he already has just by coming along for the ride.

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