NEW YORK (AP) — Former Purdue coach Gene Keady is joining the staff of former assistant Steve Lavin at St. John’s.

Keady, who retired in 2005 after 27 seasons as a Division I head coach, will join the St. John’s staff as a special assistant/adviser, Lavin announced Friday. Lavin’s first coaching job was as a graduate assistant to Keady at Purdue in 1988.

Keady’s role will not involve any on-court coaching, but he will work with the staff in developing strategy, analyzing game film, planning practices, and contributing at meetings.

The 74-year-old Keady coached two seasons at Western Kentucky before moving to Purdue in 1980. He finished with 550 wins, all but 38 at Purdue, which he led to 17 NCAA tournaments and six Big Ten titles.

Lavin took over at St. John’s in April after seven years at ESPN.

“I wanted that grandfather presence with our team,” Lavin said. “Coach Keady has the energy, vitality and a great deal to offer us. He was the most influential person in developing my coaching philosophy. The timing and the fit just seemed right for us here.”

Lavin said Keady will “serve as a new ambassador for the St. John’s program at university functions, and events in and around the metropolis he has loved, New York City.”

Keady, the AP’s national coach of the year in 1996, is first in career wins at Purdue and second on the Big Ten’s career list with 262. He was the Big Ten coach of the year seven times, tied for most ever with Indiana’s Bob Knight.

A former president of the National Association of Basketball Coaches, Keady was presented the organization’s Golden Anniversary Award in 2010, representing 50 years of contributions to college basketball.

He was an assistant to Rudy Tomjanovich on the U.S. team that won the Olympic gold medal in 2000.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.