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FIU hires ex-assistant Rouco as its new coach

Wire services
Published March 30, 2004

MIAMI - Florida International hired former assistant Sergio Rouco as its new coach Monday.

Rouco, an assistant at Texas-El Paso last season, replaces Donnie Marsh, who was fired this month after the Golden Panthers finished 5-22, the worst record in school history.

The 43-year-old Rouco was an assistant to former FIU coaches Rich Walker and Bob Weltlich from 1987-91, and under Marsh from 2000-03.

"It's an unbelievable feeling to come home," Rouco said. "Becoming the head coach at FIU has always been a dream of mine, and it's an opportunity I feel fortunate to have been offered."

ST. JOHN'S SEARCH: Newsday reported the search for a new coach appears to have taken athletic officials just one borough north.

St. John's has sent word to Bobby Gonzalez that it will take a long look at the Manhattan coach to fill the school's vacant coaching position.

Gonzalez was said to have always rubbed St. John's the wrong way with his high-strung behavior on the sideline.

But with Georgia Tech's Paul Hewitt and Memphis' John Calipari out of contention, Gonzalez is a candidate.

The front-runners for the job that was vacated when St. John's fired Mike Jarvis Dec. 19 remain alumnus Chris Mullin, who works for the Golden State Warriors, and former North Carolina coach Matt Doherty.

COACH OF THE YEAR: Saint Joseph's Phil Martelli was honored with the Naismith award.

NAIA: Tanner Luster had 22 points and 14 rebounds to lead defending champion Concordia of California to a 72-57 victory over Mobile of Alabama in the Division I semifinals in Kansas City, Mo.

Zach Moss had 34 points and 11 rebounds in Mountain State's 96-77 victory over Georgetown of Kentucky in the other semifinal.

Tonight's championship game is a rematch from last season, when Concordia beat the West Virginia school won 88-84 in OT.

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