It looks like Steve Lavin is returning to the sidelines. Lavin had notable men’s basketball head coaching runs with UCLA (1996-2003) and St. John’s (2010-15), but he’s spent a lot of time as a college basketball broadcaster as well, working for ABC and ESPN from 2003-2010 and then for Fox, CBS, and the Pac-12 Networks since 2015. But CBS’ Jon Rothstein reported Wednesday that Lavin (seen at left above with Justin Kutcher in 2019) is the top target for the University of San Diego Toreros, who just fired Sam Scholl after four seasons.
Sources: San Diego is closing in on hiring Steve Lavin as its next head basketball coach.
The two sides could reach an official agreement soon.
Former head coach at both UCLA and St. John's.
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) April 6, 2022
Stadium’s Jeff Goodman then added some confirmation:
San Diego athletic director Bill McGillis has taken exactly one month … to hire Steve Lavin.
— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanHoops) April 6, 2022
And Lavin later updated his Twitter bio to reflect him taking that job, suggesting that an official announcement is coming soon:
Steve Lavin's Twitter bio now says that he's the head coach of San Diego. https://t.co/QZb7TnPrAL pic.twitter.com/dPmj4eieCU
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) April 7, 2022
The Toreros play in the West Coast Conference, but haven’t been to the NCAA Tournament since 2008. That year, they knocked off the Connecticut Huskies in overtime in the first round before falling to the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers in the second round. Their most recent postseason action was a 2019 first-round loss to the Memphis Tigers in the NIT, and they were 50-66 overall under Scholl (including a 15-16 mark this season). So Lavin will have a lot of work to do.
But Lavin does come into this with a lot of different relevant experiences. His time with St. John’s gives him experience at another private Catholic university, and he’s very familiar with many other private Catholic schools from his time calling Big East games for Fox. His time at UCLA gives him experience coaching in California, and his work for the Pac-12 Networks has likely brought him some new West Coast contacts. And his work for CBS (including on the NCAA Tournament this year) has helped keep his name out there nationally. We’ll see how he does in his return to coaching, but it’s definitely interesting to see him again leaving the broadcasting world for the sidelines.
[Jon Rothstein on Twitter]