When dealing with interim head coaches, decisions on who to name head coach can often be difficult. Not for Saint Louis.
Jim Crews led the Billikens to a 28-7 record this season, which was the most wins in school history, and was named head coach Friday. Crews was given the interim head coach tag after former head coach Rick Majerus died last December.
Saint Louis’ success this season makes the decision to hire him as the permanent head coach an easy one during a difficult transition. Crews was hired as an assistant before 2011-12 fall practice and was given 24 hours to accept the position. Now he is the leader of the school’s most dominant athletic program.
The official hire comes as no surprise, as Crews was the clear choice to replace Majerus. In addition to the record-setting wins total, Crews led the Billikens to an NCAA tournament berth. The deal has been in the works for a while, but Crews would need more than 24 hours to finalize the details of his contract.
Saint Louis lost to Oregon in the third round of the tournament as a No. 4 seed in the Midwest Regional. The Billikens earned the seeding by winning both the Atlantic 10 regular season and tournament titles.
When inheriting a team, most coaches spend their second season as head coach recruiting their first class of prospects. Crews helped with much of the recruiting during his interim days and has assumed the responsibilities of a head coach throughout the entire season. Being a part of the recruiting process before having a solid contract in place shows Crews’ commitment to the St. Louis program.
Crews doesn’t expect for there to be any changes with the coaching staff.
John Engel is a Pac-12 basketball writer for Rant Sports and also works for ESPNLA 710AM radio in Los Angeles. Follow John on Twitter: @engelsportsguy.