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May 11, 2008St. John's renewed the five-year rollover contract of head coach Norm Roberts on Friday, effectively taking the lame-duck status off of its coach and enabling him to recruit this summer and beyond.
"We are pleased with what Norm and his staff have accomplished over the past four years, and believe the progress in many key areas is consistent with the expectations expressed by the University, our supporters and Coach Roberts when he was hired in 2004," St. John's AD Chris Monasch said.
"Coach Roberts and St. John's are committed to extending that success onto the basketball court. The primary focus of this contract renewal emphasizes the importance of being successful on the court. We are confident that at this point, we have a young, talented nucleus that will return our program to its winning tradition in the very near future."
In a recent interview, Monasch told me he planned to "update the contract."
"There were aspects of the contract that had become dated, built-in bonuses and different triggers if he's successful that he would be properly rewarded with," he said
Despite St. John's failure to qualify for the Big East tournament, Monasch said in February that Roberts' contract would be extended. The Red Storm finished 11-19 overall, 5-13 in the Big East.
"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 for now but for the long term," said Roberts. "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."
Some recruits, including former Florida forward Jonathan Mitchell of Mount Vernon, declined to consider St. John's because of Roberts' uncertain coaching status, yet St. John's did recently sign guard Quincy Roberts and point guard TyShwan Edmondson.
In other news involving Big East coaches, West Virginia coach Bob Huggins was released from the hospital Friday after he tripped on a cone on a runway tarmac while checking his cellphone messages.