By Connor Doyle & Justin St.Germain
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday Apr. 9, 2002
UA men's basketball assistant coach Jay John will be hired today as the head coach of the Oregon State Beavers, a source within the OSU program told The Daily Barometer, the school's student newspaper, yesterday.
ESPN.com also reported yesterday that sources close to the matter confirmed the hiring.
John will replace Ritchie McKay, who left the Beavers to take the head-coaching position at New Mexico two weeks ago.
John was unavailable for comment Monday night.
Steve Fenk, the assistant sports information director at OSU, said a press conference is scheduled for 2 p.m. PT in Corvallis, Ore., but would not confirm or deny that John was to be hired. OSU athletic director Mitch Barnhart was unavailable for comment.
Oregon State junior forward Philip Ricci told The Daily Barometer that he has a high opinion of John and is looking forward to playing for him.
"It's great news. A coach with a great rep coming in," Ricci said. "He'll add to the stuff coaches have already taught me. I'll respect what he says - I'm anxious to start."
John, 43, was hired in 1998 after assistant coach Phil Johnson left to take the reins at San Jose State. John was previously an assistant coach at Oregon under Ernie Kent for one season and an assistant at Butler University for eight years.
Last year, John was rumored to be a candidate for the head-coach vacancy at Tennessee, a job that eventually went to Buzz Peterson.
John will be the fifth assistant coach under Lute Olson to move on to a head-coaching position at a Division I program, the most recent being Johnson.
No members of the UA coaching staff would comment on the hiring.