Norm Roberts came to St. John's with promises of turning around a once-great Big East program. Six years later, the Red Storm haven't been back to the NCAA Tournament, and Roberts has paid the price.
The team announced on its website that Roberts was fired today, despite the Red Storm posting their best record under Roberts this season. Athletic Director Chris Monasch had this to say about the decision.
Coach Roberts took over a very challenging situation and has advanced our program in many respects. We appreciate the class and integrity he exhibited in his six years at St. John's. His student-athletes always represented the University in ways consistent with our values, and he has significantly improved the pool of basketball talent since he arrived," said Monasch. "We have high expectations for our program. Along with demanding that our program is run with integrity and that our student-athletes achieve academically and in the community, we expect a high level of success on the court consistent with our tradition.
The timing is particularly bad for Roberts because the Red Storm are expected to return all five starters and 94 percent of their scoring next season. Had Roberts stuck around, he could have easily secured his future with a strong season. As it stands, some other coach will likely succeed with talent Roberts himself brought in.