Only twenty-eight days before Red Storm Tip-Off and the official beginning of organized practices, the St. John's Red Storm has solidified its coaching staff for 2012-13.
Darrick Martin, who has been rumored as a likely hire in recent weeks, was officially announced on Friday afternoon as the newest member of Steve Lavin's staff. The former UCLA point guard brings over twenty years ofcollegiate and professional basketball experience to a young Johnnies team.
St. John's also released another bit of news on Friday regarding the staff. Tony Chiles and Rico Hines, who have each been on board with the Red Storm since shortly after Lavin was hired in 2010, have received internal promotions.
More on Martin, Chiles and Hines, below the fold.
As previously speculated by many, Martin's hiring by St. John's does not automatically deem him as Mike Dunlap's replacement. Rather, Lavin's approach has been to add a third assistant to complement Chiles and Hines.
"I have known Darrick personally for more than 20 years, and our staff is pleased he has chosen to become a member of the Johnnies basketball family," mentioned Lavin in a statement provided by the team's official release. "Darrick is a natural teacher who possesses the knowledge and patience necessary to develop young players of this generation."
Other prominent names around the game of basketball offered complimentary words of Darrick Martin, including ESPN analyst Dick Vitale, former Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Kurt Rambis, and legendary Earvin "Magic" Johnson.
"Darrick has a great basketball mind and is an excellent student and teacher of the game," said Johnson, a five-time NBA World Champion. "If any student-athletes are serious about hitting it hard and improving their game, Darrick Martin is their man!"
In terms of Hines' and Chiles' promotions within the program, they are strictly internal. The move is Lavin's way of recognizing the two for their two-plus years serving on the staff and their above-and-beyond contributions to last year's team under unfavorable conditions.
Their titles will not change. Martin, Hines, and Chiles will each be considered "assistant coaches" in an official capacity this upcoming season.