July 31, 2013
QUEENS, N.Y. - St. John's head men's basketball coach Steve Lavin announced Wednesday that three-year Director of Men's Basketball Operations Maurice "Moe" Hicks will resign from his position at the University effective immediately, as Hicks, one of the most successful coaches in New York City high school history, looks to make a return to coaching basketball.
A search to fill the vacant position on Lavin's staff is near completion.
"As the Director of Basketball Operations, Moe Hicks has been a valuable contributor to our program," said Lavin. "We appreciate Moe's efforts and wish him the best as he returns to his passion of coaching basketball."
"It has been a great experience working at St. John's under Coach Lavin. He has built a national program and I wish him and the team all the best," said Hicks.
One of the most respected high school coaches and Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) administrators in the history of New York City, Hicks joined the St. John's basketball program three years ago, in 2010, after 20 years of coaching the area's youth, and with unprecedented success.
The head coach at Rice High School in Harlem from 1994-2010, Hicks compiled a 16-year record of 352-86 and guided the Raiders to five New York State Federation championships (1996, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2009). Hicks' high school squads, which were ranked in the USA Today Top 25 from 1994-2004 and then again in 2009, captured six New York City Catholic High School Athletic Association (CHSAA) titles (1996, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2006, 2009) and won 11 CHSAA divisional championships (1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010). Hicks' 1999 Raider squad posted a 27-1 record and was named the Hoops USA national champion.
For his efforts, Hicks was selected CHSAA Coach of the Year seven times, in 1996, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2006, 2008 and 2009, and earned Tri-State Coach of the Year honors in 2009. Having served as the head coach at Louis D. Brandeis High School on the Upper West Side of Manhattan from 1990-94 prior to his appointment at Rice, Hicks guided the Braves to the Public School Athletic League (PSAL) title in 1992. That makes him one of two coaches in New York City history to win both the CHSAA and PSAL championships.
The 2012-13 Red Storm advanced to the Second Round of the National Invitation Tournament and finished its campaign at 17-16 (8-10 BIG EAST). St. John's 83rd winning season in history and second of The Lavin Era was its fifth since 1999-2000. The Red Storm's 2011 NCAA berth and 2013 NIT appearance under Lavin mark the first time since 2002 and 2003 that St. John's reached the postseason twice in a three-year span under one coach. The Red Storm's 63-61 March 19 NIT Opening Round win over Saint Joseph's was the first non-vacated postseason victory for St. John's since the 2001 NCAA Tournament.
St. John's projects to return 91.6 percent of its scoring and 88.3 percent of its rebounding in 2013-14, including 2013 BIG EAST Rookie of the Year, All-BIG EAST Honorable Mention selection, unanimous All-Rookie team member, seven-time BIG EAST Rookie of the Week, 2013 MBWA Rookie of the Year and All-Met second team member JaKarr Sampson, who led all BIG EAST freshmen in scoring (14.9 ppg, T-11th overall) and rebounding (6.6 rpg, 11th overall). A game-changing shotblocker and BIG EAST All-Rookie selection, Chris Obekpa led the nation in rejections with a 4.03 blocks per game average and established a new single-season St. John's and BIG EAST freshman mark with 133 rejections on the year. Guard Phil Greene IV scored at a 10.1 ppg clip and displayed his ability as a dynamic playmaker despite a hip injury, and Sir'Dominic Pointer averaged 6.9 points with 5.5 rebounds and led the team with four double-doubles. Leading scorer D'Angelo Harrison (17.8 ppg, third among all BIG EAST players) has joined the squad for Summer II and is currently training with his teammates and the St. John's staff.
The Red Storm also adds 2011 junior college All-American forward Orlando Sanchez, sophomore transfer sharpshooter Max Hooper and redshirt senior big man God'sgift Achiuwa (9.4 ppg, 5.8 rpg in 2011-12) to its active roster, in addition to Top 5 national point guard prospect Rysheed Jordan, who joins the Red Storm this summer in preparation for the 2013-14 campaign.