Skinner faces competition for St. John's job

March 28, 2010 - 6:09 am

When Boston College coach Al Skinner interviewed with St. John's on Friday, he appeared to be the leading candidate for the job. Paul Hewitt already had turned it down, and Seth Greenberg renegotiated his deal with Virginia Tech and pulled out of the running. However, since that time the rumors have been flying that the Red Storm are focusing on former UCLA coach Steve Lavin, who has been serving as a commentator for ESPN. Lavin went 145-78 in seven seasons at UCLA. He won 20 games each of his first six seasons and took his teams to four Sweet 16s and two Elite Eights. He was fired after his only losing season, in 2002-03. St. John's also reportedly is interested in Siena's Fran McCaffery, who has been rumored as a leading candidate for the positions at Seton Hall and Iowa, and Temple's Fran Dunphy. Rhode Island's Jim Baron, whose team is in New York to play North Carolina on Tuesday in the NIT semifinals, is expected to draw interest as well. UPDATE: McCaffery was hired by Iowa Sunday, and Iona's Kevin Willard, a former Celtics assistant under Rick Pitino and the son of former Holy Cross coach Ralph Willard, took the Seton Hall job.