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Mike Jarvis

By

Mike Jarvis

Mike Jarvis will attempt to resurrect his career at FAU

Getty Images / Doug Pensinger

Name:

Mike Jarvis

Position:

Head Coach

Team:

Florida Atlantic Owls

Career Record (Entering 2008-09 Season):

362-201

Great Players:

Patrick Ewing (Cambridge Ringe & Latin High School), Yinka Dare (George Washington), Ron Artest (St. John's)

Profile:

Mike Jarvis is the latest in a string of high profile coaching hires at Florida Atlantic University -- replacing Rex Walters, who replaced Matt Doherty.

I'm sensing a theme here.

Coaches seem to be using this Sun Belt conference school as a stepping-off point to better jobs, or as a means of resurrecting stalled coaching careers. It worked for Doherty, who was out of work after a controversial stint at North Carolina, but parlayed a brief stint at FAU into the head coaching job at Southern Methodist.

Jarvis may need to work a bit harder to resurrect his reputation.

Jarvis made a name for himself in the high school ranks... his run at Cambridge Ringe and Latin High School, coaching future NCAA greats like Patrick Ewing and Rumeal Robinson earned him a gig at Boston University. After five years -- and two NCAA appearances -- with the Terriers, he moved up to George Washington University in 1990, and took his 1993 team -- led by a raw center named Yinka Dare -- to the Sweet Sixteen.

In 1998, Jarvis hit the big-time, replacing the controversial Fran Fraschilla as head coach at St. John's. It was a tremendous opportunity: the Big East conference, the New York media market, one of the NCAA's historic winningest programs. And initially, things seemed to be working out well, as Jarvis led a team featuring Fraschilla recruits like Ron Artest and Erick Barkley to the Elite Eight. But he was unable to sustain that momentum. In New York basketball circles, Jarvis' ability to alienate city high school coaches and recruits became legendary, and the line of elite local prospects like Artest, and Barkley all but dried up.

The situation imploded during the 2003-04 season. Jarvis was fired just six games into the year, but that didn't prevent an ugly series of events including assault accusations, a sex scandal involving several players in a Pittsburgh hotel room with a stripper, and the revelation that a member of the basketball staff had paid center Abe Keita $300 per month during his four-year career.

The Red Storm forfeited 43 wins in which Keita participated -- including a trip to the 2002 NCAA and the 2003 NIT Championship -- and landed in a hole that current coach Norm Roberts is still trying to escape.

Meanwhile, Jarvis seemed to be an untouchable, biding his time working as a TV and Internet analyst.

It will be interesting to see which Jarvis emerges at FAU this fall... the successful motivator from GW, or the man who destroyed a once-proud St. John's program.

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