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Brigham Young Names Fresno City's Cleveland Coach

March 12, 1997|Associated Press

Steve Cleveland, who has never coached major college basketball, was named to take up the reins of a Brigham Young University program coming off its worst season in history.

Cleveland, 45, played his college basketball at Fresno City College and UC Irvine and is completing his seventh season as coach at Fresno City, where he has a 156-76 record. Fresno City is 30-3 this season and ranked No. 1 among California's junior colleges going into this weekend's state tournament.

The announcement came 10 days after BYU wrapped up a 1-25 season under interim coach Tony Ingle, who took over when Roger Reid was fired Dec. 17, following seven seasons as the school's most successful basketball coach (152-77).

Others who reportedly were candidates for the job were Ingle, former UCLA coach Jim Harrick, former Ball State coach Dick Hunsaker, Utah assistant Jeff Judkins and BYU Hawaii Coach Ken Wagner.

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Kevin O'Neill, intense, loud, blunt and tenacious, has been lured from Tennessee to become coach at Northwestern, a school that has never been invited to the NCAA tournament.

O'Neill, 40, spent three seasons at Tennessee, where he compiled a 36-47 record after inheriting a program in disarray. He also coached five seasons at Marquette, taking it to the NIT once and NCAA tournament twice.

O'Neill replaces the fired Ricky Byrdsong, whose team as 7-22 this season and 34-78 in his four years as its coach.

No contract terms were announced, though reports had O'Neill's compensation as high as $500,000 annually.

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Despite a poor season in which Michigan did not get an NCAA tournament berth and despite a report of possible minor NCAA violations, school president Lee Bollinger and Athletic Director Joseph Roberson voiced support of Coach Steve Fisher.

Fisher and his staff were cited in a university report last week for not reporting violations by an athletic booster. But the two school officials said Fisher also stopped the booster from renting an apartment for an athlete and buying plane tickets for relatives of athletes. "It was Steve Fisher who discovered the attempts to provide inappropriate benefits," they said in a statement.

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Larry Shyatt, an assistant at Clemson, was named coach at Wyoming.

Shyatt, 45, signed a five-year contract with a base annual salary of $98,000 to replace Joby Wright, who resigned after Wyoming's first-round loss in the Western Athletic Conference tournament after four years with the Cowboys.

Wyoming was 12-16 this season and 53-60 in four years under Wright.

Shyatt, who said he will stay with Clemson through the NCAA tournament, immediately hired Scott Duncan, a longtime friend and associate who just finished his second season as an assistant at Washington State, as his top assistant.

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Olivier Saint-Jean, a 6-foot-6 junior forward, San Jose State's leading scorer for the past two seasons and this year's top scorer in the WAC, said he would make himself available for the NBA draft.

Saint-Jean, who emigrated to the United States from France four years ago, averaged 23.8 points and 8.8 rebounds a game this season.

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