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St. Mary's checks out B. Valvano new coach passes


LANDOVER -- The administration of his new place of employment is convinced that Bob Valvano's troubles at Catholic University are behind him.

So, Valvano was officially introduced as the new St. Mary's College basketball coach yesterday at a news conference at the Capital Centre.

"The choice was a very easy one," said St. Mary's president Edward T. Lewis. "He has a knowledge of and passion for basketball and certainly for winning, and he fully understands Division III and scholar-athletes."

Lewis and athletic director Jay Gardiner -- who stepped down as the basketball coach -- conducted an investigation into Valvano's departure from Catholic University after last season.

They consulted various officials at their rival schools in the Capital Athletic Conference.

"They gave me information that made it clear there was no reason that we shouldn't hire him," said Lewis.

Valvano, 35, said he "learned some things not to do" after the Catholic U. administration probed his use of profanity, a charge of drinking with his players on one road trip and other questionable motivational techniques.

"I understand some of the things that happen," said Gardiner, who had a 74-100 record in seven years and won the CAC title in 1991. "They weren't major, and he said they'll never happen again."

Before four seasons at Catholic, Valvano was head coach at Division I St. Francis (N.Y.) and Division II Kutztown (Pa.). He also coached a year in Sweden.

His Catholic team last year was 21-6, setting the school record for victories, and Valvano was named CAC Coach of the Year.

Valvano said his famous older brother Jim, who is battling cancer, is "in very good spirits, although he's in a very serious situation."

"We all know it is going to be a long and difficult process, but he's determined to fight it. He looks good. But doctors can't give you a black-and-white answer as to what will happen."

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