By Jon Rothstein
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Steve Lavin is targeting Saint Louis associate head coach Jim Whitesell to fill the vacant position on the St. John’s staff, multiple sources confirmed on Wednesday.
Whitesell would replace Moe Hicks, who left the Red Storm to pursue high school coaching opportunities after serving as St. John’s director of basketball operations for the past three seasons.
While Whitesell would technically take Hicks’ spot on the St. John’s staff, he would be coming to the Red Storm program as an assistant coach. The hiring of Whitesell means that one of St. John’s three current assistant coaches would be moved into an administrative role.
The addition of Whitesell, a Rick Majerus disciple would only enhance the Red Storm staff and give Lavin another strong coaching presence on the bench. Whitesell was the head coach of Loyola of Chicago from 2004-11, and was instrumental in Saint Louis’ run to the Atlantic 10 title last season. His addition would give St. John’s a similar presence to Mike Dunlap, who was Lavin’s top assistant during his first two years in Jamaica. Dunlap left in the spring of 2012 to take the head coaching position with the Charlotte Bobcats and was fired after last season.
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