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Rutgers introduced Eddie Jordan as their next men’s basketball coach on Tuesday afternoon, ending a search to replace Mike Rice after he was fired amid scandal.
Jordan takes control of the Scarlet Knights, his first college head coaching job, after spending the past season under Mike D’Antoni with the Los Angeles Lakers. He previously held head coaching gigs in the NBA with Sacramento, Washington and Philadelphia.
“This is going to be a challenge, but a wonderful challenge,” Jordan said in a statement. “There is a lot of work to be done. I would like to thank the Rutgers University Board of Governors, the Board of Trustees, President Robert Barchi and Interim Director of Athletics Carl Kirschner for their confidence. The support in and around the Rutgers community has been tremendous. It will definitely help to form the foundation of our program moving forward.”
Jordan’s contract is for five years and $6.25 million. The money is guaranteed. He’ll be charged with helping the recovery process left from the scandal left by Rice and former Athletic Director Tim Pernetti, who were both fired after video surfaced of Rice exhibiting physical and verbal abusive behavior towards his players in practice.
A Rutgers guard from 1973-77, he helped the program to its only Final Four in 1976. He still holds program records for assists and steals. Jordan’s son, Eddie II, was a three-year letterman for the Scarlet Knights football team (2000-01, 2003). The elder Jordan served an assistant in two different stints with the Scarlet Knights from 1984-85 and 1988-1992.
This is a great hire for Rutgers. Jordan is a recognizable figure within a program that doesn’t have much recent success. He also has considerable ties to the NBA, which can help attract some top talent, which should be helped with the school being right next to New York City. As Washington D.C. native, he’ll definitely want to tap those connections for recruiting that area.
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