Hewitt to St. John’s? New York tabloids are abuzz (Updated!)

Paul Hewitt at work during the NCAA tournament. (AP photo)

Paul Hewitt during the NCAAs. (AP photo)

UPDATE: Georgia Tech athletics cirector Dan Radakovich granted St. John’s request to speak with Paul Hewitt at 11:45 a.m. Tuesday.

Lenn Robbins of the New York Post reports that St. John’s, which fired coach Norm Roberts last week, plans to pursue Paul Hewitt.  This would not constitute a shock.

This wouldn’t be the first time St. John’s has targeted Hewitt. The Red Storm had an opening six years ago, but it coincided with Hewitt’s one extended NCAA tournament run. Worried that another school — or an NBA team — would steal the coach that had just led the Jackets to the title game, then-athletics director Dave Braine awarded Hewitt the perpetual rollover contract with its $7.1 million buyout. St. John’s hired Roberts instead.

Hewitt’s contract also includes a buyout on his end: Should he leave for another college job, he would be obliged to pay Tech $3.5 million. But there have been recent indications that Tech would not hold Hewitt to that figure.

Wrote Robbins:

Sources told the Post that [St. John's AD Chris] Monasch has gotten word to Georgia Tech athletic director Dan Radakovich that he’ll be seeking official permission to talk to coach Paul Hewitt as soon as possible …

“The word is it’s his job and Georgia Tech won’t stand in the way,” said a highly placed source in college basketball circles. “Both sides are ready for a change.”

After Georgia Tech lost to Ohio State in Milwaukee on Sunday, Roger Rubin of the New York Daily News asked Hewitt about the St. John’s job. Wrote Rubin:

When he was asked whether St. John’s can return to glory, the man lit up.

“Do you remember what it was like in New York when the Yankees finally won the World Series again in 1996, the way it electrified the city? St. John’s could definitely do the same thing,” said Hewitt, who grew up in Queens and Long Island. “I remember going to the building they call Carnesecca (Arena) and seeing huge crowds embrace the team. I remember going to the Garden and seeing it full. And I remember the winning. The right coach could do all that again and it would be a sight.”

This man doesn’t belong at a poker table. His words sound like “not interested,” but his face says “intrigued.”

216 comments Add your comment

Liz

March 23rd, 2010
11:00 am

Carolina Gator Lover

March 23rd, 2010
11:00 am

Mark Bradley

March 23rd, 2010
11:00 am

You are, Liz. Kudos.

Gordon

March 23rd, 2010
11:01 am

First?

PLEASE let it be true. (Hewitt leaving, not me being first).

Don't let the door hit you...

March 23rd, 2010
11:03 am

…on the way out Coach Blewitt.

Please, please, please….. let this be true!

Liz

March 23rd, 2010
11:04 am

Sweet. (About being first, doesn’t upset me if Hewitt stays or leaves. Go DAWGS!)

Delbert D.

March 23rd, 2010
11:05 am

Forget the $3.5 million. Let the guy go.

Ferd

March 23rd, 2010
11:06 am

Who would have thought we could go to the ACC Championship game, win an NCAA Tournament game, AND get rid of Hewitt in the same year?! Please let it be true!!

Gordon

March 23rd, 2010
11:07 am

He is also on the short list for DePaul, although I’m sure St. Johns would be his first choice. They have said they would pay “top 10″ money, in the neighborhood of 1.7M.

Hewitt must know he has lost both the fan base and Radakovich’s confidence at Tech. Tech waiving the 3.5M says it all. Though Hewitt leaves a lot of money on the table by leaving, in the long run he makes more because he won’t have a dismissal on his resume if he goes now. That would cost him a big time job, at least for a while, as well as a lot of pride.

bill

March 23rd, 2010
11:08 am

Sounds good to me…

Matt the Brave

March 23rd, 2010
11:08 am

The expectations this year placed on Hewitt were unbelievable. I know that he had a stacked team, but it is near-impossible to go through this tournament and win it all. All you Tech dorks think that you’re upper-echelon. Well, you’re not. Make it to the tournament every year? Maybe. You do play in the hardest conference if you’re not named Duke, Wake Forest, or North Carolina.

Joe Cox's Agent

March 23rd, 2010
11:10 am

please don’t let this opportunity pass Mr. Hewitt. St Johns and GT are both needing this badly…

BUT

March 23rd, 2010
11:10 am

its never going to happen Hewitt has to sweet a deal to ever leave he will ride that rollover for the next 20 years.

rlinaug

March 23rd, 2010
11:10 am

Please stay. Hewitt’s the one guy Dennis Felton outcoached.

Dawglasville

March 23rd, 2010
11:10 am

Tech would be better off with out him. He reminds me of Jim Mora Jr. Tech could be great again in basketball. Not with Hewitt.

jamie stamper

March 23rd, 2010
11:13 am

You are up here are some real tool when it comes to understanding coaching. You guys love to wanna run people out of town. Tell me Tech nation who are you going to bring in to replace him. You know when he leaves and your program goes down we will see how much cheering you guys do then. Funny Ferd, Delbert, and Gordon.

CanHewitt

March 23rd, 2010
11:13 am

This is perfect for both Tech and Hewitt. Tech gets out of that horrendous contract that made fans very unhappy and Hewitt gets a fresh start in his hometown and gets paid more. If he takes St. Johns to the tourney somehow he’ll be a hero there. Tech must waive $3.5 mil buyout. With $1.3 mil+ salary, Tech can still hire a decent coach.

acowa

March 23rd, 2010
11:14 am

Mark,

Can you go with him as a package deal?

Gordon

March 23rd, 2010
11:14 am

It’s almost February 3rd! (RAMBLE ON knows what I mean)

Joe Cox's Agent

March 23rd, 2010
11:15 am

Matt.. don’t be a dumba$$. it was not just this one season that cost Paul Hewitt the confidence in the GT fanbase. It is his arrogance and lack of ability to coach over several seasons that has brought us to this point. You hardly ever saw a Tech team get better over a course of a season. He could not improve the play of his players one ounce from the start of the season to the end of one. Also his comments that Tech will never be a UNC or Duke doesn’t help his cause one bit. GT and it’s fans will never give in to mediocrity…

John

March 23rd, 2010
11:15 am

St johns is a perfect fit for you. U can do it!

Paul Hewitt

March 23rd, 2010
11:15 am

Haha, everyone loves a tease. I’m not going anywhere. I love Atlanta and taking Tech from mediocrity to subp…..I mean, greatness. Once I get that contract extension I will be around for a long time.

juvenal

March 23rd, 2010
11:16 am

i just want to know what wimpey conf. they got those zebras Derrick knocks a guys arm off who hooked him, & he gets dinged? please, ncaa, get refs nationally! also, had to catch a plane, they did not want bringing in a bag the size of a purse, as lame as they are on title IX, at least the ladies catch some benefits…i pray everything works out to the best for everyone…

Gordon

March 23rd, 2010
11:16 am

Jamie @11:13,

I may not understand coaching, but I do understand won loss records. He’s had 10 years. Enough is enough.

CanHewitt

March 23rd, 2010
11:17 am

Hewitt’s not happy with the media and fanbase at the moment. It makes sense for him to go if they offer a very competitive salary.

PMC

March 23rd, 2010
11:18 am

Come on Mark. Leave the poor man alone for once… let’s hear about the Braves, Falcons, or Hawks.

Hewitt is a Joke

March 23rd, 2010
11:19 am

This is the best news I’ve read in a long time. Delta is ready when you are Blewitt. St Johns has Tourrett’e Syndrome substitutions, inbounding disasters, poor free throw shooting, and record turnover games to look forwart to. Lou Carnesseca will be rolling over in his grave somewhere watching Hewitt’s teams perform. Don’t let the door hit you in the — on the way out!!

The Udder Side!!!

March 23rd, 2010
11:19 am

Sooooo….When you Tech heads finally run off Coach Hewitt, Who are you gonna get to come and take over your program????

T3

March 23rd, 2010
11:20 am

Consider it a DONE DEAL. He’s gone.

Now, lets move on to WHO will be the new GT BBall HC.

Matt the Brave

March 23rd, 2010
11:22 am

Joe Cox’s Agent, first of all, don’t call me names, it’s uncouth. So, what you’re telling me is that his ability to get Tech to the tournament many times and get to the final four is his lack of coaching ability? And his ‘arrogance’ is what? Because he’s a head coach and treats people who ask him stupid questions with contempt? Guess what? You’re not the most important person in the world, nor ever will be. I would say that you saw Tech get much better over this season, especially after the loss to UGA and Duke. And I’m pretty sure that he knows that Duke and UNC are out of ANYONE’S league. The only team that can compete with those two in terms of money are Wake Forest and Kentucky because it’s the only sport that matters to them. Not to mention that the refs essentially give them every game, no matter how bad they are that season.

Hewitt is a Joke

March 23rd, 2010
11:22 am

Matt the Brave, us Tech dorks will worry about Tech. Why don’t you go back to your NASCAR blog and talk about Ricky Bobby? And did you really lump Wake Forest into the list of upper echelon teams in the ACC along with Duke and UNC? Really??

KevinM

March 23rd, 2010
11:23 am

He’s right. Tech will never be Duke or Carolina, in our lifetime. There isn’t enough time to build the legacy they have. But, Tech can be a Maryland type team and win it with guys who actually play well together.
This year’s team looked like they didn’t know who they should lead them.
They are very young, and its not an excuse, just the reality of it all.
A strong point guard is needed to lead any team. Ask Roy Williams.
But I think you gotta hold Hewitt to some of the $$ that he is obligated to pay. I woudn’t let him walk away clean. He has been getting paid very well and his contract states he needs to return some of his ‘guaranteed rollover’ should someone show interest.
This one is definitely setup for a win-win for the coach, no matter what he decides. I don’t like the sound of that. His teams did underperform in the past and he finally was able to put a winning season together.
For that, you shouldn’t be able to walk away clean with a huge raise.
If Donovan turned down a $3M/year offer, what are they going to offer Hewitt? 2-2.5? Ridiculous.

K with a K

March 23rd, 2010
11:23 am

I hope this happens before Tubby signs on at Auburn!

Reality

March 23rd, 2010
11:24 am

Guys, I am not the biggest Hewitt fan. I don’t think he is a good coach. But, he is a good recruiter. At least we have good players to make the game interesting.

I remember too well how many coachs we had that could not get any talent to Tech.

We do risk getting rid of Hewitt only to end up with someone worse.

Paul Hewitt

March 23rd, 2010
11:24 am

Mark,

Why you always pickin on me? :(

I can’t handle Atlanta and the 2 sports writers in this town. How do you think I would handle NYC?

KevinM

March 23rd, 2010
11:24 am

Add to previous comments:

Hey MB, he might leave to get away from your ‘personal’ criticism you have expressed in your previous encounters with him. He might see the NY media as a kindler, gentler adversary.

Hewitt is a Joke

March 23rd, 2010
11:25 am

Who will be the next GT head coach? It could be Dora the Explorer and we’d still be better off..

Halberstram

March 23rd, 2010
11:26 am

Must have cut out part of that column, nothing I read at the end gave any indication of not interested.

Delbert D.

March 23rd, 2010
11:27 am

From the ajc.com news page: “Man carjacked near Georgia Tech campus”

I guess criminals in Atlanta are too stupid or doped-up to carjack cars.

RICKY BOBBY

March 23rd, 2010
11:27 am

I’M GOING FAST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

mark > paul

March 23rd, 2010
11:28 am

our coach marks are better than your coach pauls. maybe you guys can get rid of the other coach paul and start rebuilding to try beat us again…but i doubt it.

WonderDawg

March 23rd, 2010
11:28 am

“Tech won’t stand in the way”? Tech’s probably helping him pack! What a stroke of luck. Hey, you don’t suppose St Johns wants Mike Bobo, too?

NC Braves Fan

March 23rd, 2010
11:28 am

Well, Mr. hewitt seems to have a really thick skin in dealing with the hypercritical ATL media glare, so I’m sure he’ll do just fine in little ole NY. *chuckle*

MorningJacket

March 23rd, 2010
11:29 am

I seriously doubt that CPH is going to end up at St. John’s, but I’ll gladly be proven wrong. My question is: If he can’t handle mild criticism from the AJC — and it has been far less that he really deserved — how in the world would he handle the shark tank of the NY media.

Dawglasville

March 23rd, 2010
11:29 am

Oh… Tubby at Tech would suck. Hopefully Hewitt stays.

Gordon

March 23rd, 2010
11:30 am

Reality,

What coach are you talking about? Dwayne Morrison? Whack Hyder? Cremins could recruit, Hewitt could recruit. We are in the ACC, in the city of Atlanta, and have a good track record of putting players in the NCAA.

We can and will do better than Hewitt.

Hewitt is a Joke

March 23rd, 2010
11:30 am

I like the Tubby Smith idea.. But Reality, while I agree with you somewhat in that Blewitt has done a good job recruiting for the most part. But if you look more closely, he’s really only had 2-3 top notch classes during his tenure with GT. His best year at Tech he was winning with kids that weren’t recruited by him. And a lot of the success he’s had since have been with instate recruits who would have likely ended up at Tech with or without him. Derek Favors and Glen Rice, Jr are perfect examples- kids that wanted to stay in ATL close to family for college.

Gordon

March 23rd, 2010
11:31 am

I meant NBA, not NCAA. We DON’T have a good track record of putting players in the NCAA.

drew

March 23rd, 2010
11:31 am

This could be a huge win/win. Hewitt loves NY. Money shouldn’t be an issue (St. John’s offered 3 mil/year to Donovan) so PH gets a fat raise. D-Rad’s not gonna stand in his way, and Tech’s relieved of the perpetual contract. Good, fundamental, TEAM basketball returns to GT.

It might all come down to where Ms. Hewitt wants to raise the kids.

I know I’m getting ahead of myself here but, if it get’s done, who do we go after?

FullMetalJacket

March 23rd, 2010
11:33 am

If Hewitt realizes the tenor of Tech’s fanbase he will seriously consider this opportunity, but there is nothing to suggest that he sees himself at faulty or his job in jeapordy.