Fran Fraschilla Is Out As Coach Of Red Storm St. John's And The Coach Parted Ways Last Week, But It Wasn't Clear Then That He'd Been Fired.

Posted: May 14, 1998

NEW YORK — St. John's University yesterday announced the firing of basketball coach Fran Fraschilla, citing ``fundamental differences'' over the management of the program.

According to the Associated Press, Fraschilla was no longer the coach after he met Friday with athletic director Ed Manetta. Whether Fraschilla had resigned or been fired was not clear until late yesterday afternoon.

Fraschilla was on vacation in Florida with his family and was unavailable for comment.

ESPN reported yesterday that St. John's was upset that Fraschilla had publicly expressed interest in job openings at Texas and Arizona State while negotiating a contract extension at St. John's. The network did not cite a source for its information.

Fraschilla has two seasons left on the contract he signed when he took over the program for the 1996-97 season.

In his second year at St. John's, Fraschilla guided the Red Storm to a 22-10 record this past season and a berth in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1993. The team lost to Detroit in the first round of the Midwest regional.

His two-year record at St. John's was 35-24.

Before taking the St. John's job, Fraschilla compiled an 85-36 record in four years at Manhattan, leading the Jaspers to a 26-5 record and a first-round NCAA upset of Oklahoma in 1995.

He previously served as an assistant for 13 seasons at Providence, Ohio State, Ohio University, Rhode Island and New York Tech.

Among those mentioned as possible replacements yesterday was former Villanova assistant Paul Hewitt, who now is the head coach at Siena.

Others included:

* Bob McKillop, the head coach at Davidson. McKillop has New York ties, having served as head coach at Long Island Lutheran and Holy Trinity High Schools.

* Jim Molinari, head man at Bradley. Manetta tried to get Molinari the last time the job was available. Manetta used to work at De Paul, where Molinari was a highly regarded assistant for years.

* Tom Penders, who recently resigned at Texas. His name will immediately pop up because of his old ties to New York (he was head coach at both Fordham and Columbia).

* John Kresse, head man at the College of Charleston. He was very popular as a long-time assistant under Lou Carnesecca at St. John's.

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