Chrisitan to be named coach

Published:

A news conference has tentatively been scheduled for 2 p.m. today to name Jim Christian as Kent State's 21st men's basketball coach.

Kent State director of athletics Laing Kennedy wouldn't confirm Christian's hiring this morning, but said the Flashes' assistant was the only candidate interviewed on campus.

Heath recommended Christian immediately after accepting the men's basketball job at Arkansas last Thursday.

Christian, 36, is expected to meet with Kent State president Carol Cartwright and other university administrators this morning.

Christian has plenty of assistant coaching experience on his resume.

He began his coaching career with Western Kentucky in 1990. In 1992, he took an assistant's position at St. Francis College (Pa.). Christian returned to Western Kentucky in 1994 before leaving for Miami (Oh.) in 1995-96. He then was hired at Pittsburgh in 1996 and stayed three years until he took a job with Octagon Sports Marketing and Management in McLean, Va., where he was a college basketball talent evaluator.

Christian played his college basketball at Boston University before transferring to Rhode Island where he led the Rams to the 'Sweet 16' in 1988. He also played a year of professional basketball in Australia.

Christian's hiring would give the Golden Flashes much-needed continuity within the program. He is familiar with Kent State's current players and its recruiting stance heading into the 2002-03 season. He's also a proven recruiter in the east and midwest.

The Golden Flashes are coming off two highly-successful seasons. In 2000-01, Kent State advanced to the NCAA Tournament under head coach Gary Waters. The Flashes defeated Indiana in the first round before falling to Cincinnati. In 2001-02, Heath and the Flashes were just one victory away from a berth in the Final Four after topping national powers Oklahoma State, Alabama and Pittsburgh to advance to the 'Elite Eight.'

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