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Steve Lavin hired as San Diego men’s basketball coach


SAN DIEGO — Steve Lavin, the former UCLA and St. John’s men’s basketball coach, was hired Wednesday night to take over the struggling program in San Diego.

Lavin, 57, replaces Sam Scholl, who was fired on March 6 after the Toreros lost 15-16 in a third consecutive season. The Toreros have had just four winning seasons and one NCAA tournament appearance under three coaches since Brad Holland was fired after going 18-14 in 2006-07.

Athletic director Bill McGillis said Lavin had been a candidate since the start of the month-long search process.

“I just think it’s a great lineup,” said McGillis, who had dinner with Lavin near campus Wednesday night. “I think under his leadership we have a chance to propel to new heights.”

Lavin was 145-78 at UCLA in seven seasons from 1996-2003, and took the Bruins to the Sweet 16 five times and the Elite Eight once. He was 92-72 in St. John’s from 2010 to 2015, with two NCAA tournament appearances.

Lavin had worked as a college basketball analyst on television.

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