Jay John Named Men's Basketball Coach
April 9, 2002
Corvallis, Ore. - Jay John has been named men's basketball head coach at Oregon State University, it was announced Tuesday by Director of Athletics Mitch Barnhart. John, who has 15 years of Division I basketball coaching experience, becomes only the seventh head coach in Beaver men's basketball history since the 1928-29 campaign.
John has served as an assistant coach at the University of Arizona since May, 1998. While a member of the Wildcats' staff, Arizona made four NCAA Tournament appearances, and reached the national championship game in 2001. During his Arizona tenure, six Wildcats were selected in the NBA Draft, the program finished in the top 12 in the national rankings every season, and Wildcat student-athletes were selected to the All-Pacific-10 Conference team nine times.
'I'm excited to be a part of the Oregon State University basketball tradition,' John said. 'As a young person growing up in Tucson I followed the Ralph Miller teams with great interest. I'm proud to be here, this is a great university and a terrific opportunity for myself.'
John's Pac-10 experience also includes serving as an assistant coach at the University of Oregon twice, for the 1986 season under Don Monson and the 1998 season under Ernie Kent. He was also an assistant at Butler University (1989-97) and the University of San Francisco (1988-89). John was a head coach and an assistant at Jamestown Community College (1986-88) in New York. While at Butler, he helped the 1997 team to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 35 years.
'Jay John is a player's coach in every sense of the word,' former Butler and current Nebraska head coach Barry Collier said. 'I'm positive he will be successful, as he will find his team's strengths and play to them. The people surrounding the Oregon State program will soon come to know him as an excellent coach, recruiter, and person.'
The 43-year-old native of Tucson, Ariz., has been largely credited with the success of Arizona's post players during his four-year stint. Recent Wildcat big men who have been coached by John include Loren Woods, Michael Wright, A.J. Bramlett, and Channing Frye.
'Jay has been a tremendous assistant coach in our program,' Arizona head coach Lute Olson said. 'He's an outstanding recruiter and an excellent floor coach who did a great job of scouting opponents.'
John also has a strong background in recruiting, as evidenced by Arizona's class being ranked first in the Pac-10 every year he was on the staff and being rated the nation's second best class in 2001.
'We certainly hate to see him go, it's a big loss for our program,' Olson added. 'But we are happy to see him get a great opportunity in the Pac-10 Conference. He leaves with our blessing and best wishes for an outstanding head coaching career.'
The 43-year-old John has been recognized on a national scale by several organizations. Lindy's College Basketball Yearbook named him one of five assistant coaches to watch, and the Hoop Scoop ranked him first in its top-25 assistant coaches poll.
John is a 1981 graduate of the University of Arizona with a degree in biology. He continued his education at Butler, where he earned a Master of Science degree in 1994. His family includes his wife Lisa, and sons Tyler, 14, and Trevor, 6.
John accepts the position recently vacated by Ritchie McKay, who took a similar position at the University of New Mexico. The Beavers return eight lettermen, including four starters, from a team that was 12-17 overall and finished ninth in the Pac-10 with a mark of 4-14.
'I think I have a real good feel for the skills of the players we have on this roster,' John said. 'The fact that I have been in this conference for a number of years, recruited some of these individuals, and watched a lot of them in summer leagues, certainly gives me an idea of what type of players we currently have in the program. From all of that, I think we can formulate a game plan to take this program back to where it belongs, in the hunt every year.'
John's financial package is worth $225,000, which includes media appearances (radio and television). His five-year contract also has built in incentives worth up to an additional $100,000.