John Excited to Get Going

Jay John has jumped in at full speed at his new job. He was introduced as head coach Tuesday and been on the go since. After being introduced at Gill Coliseum Tuesday, he flew back to Tucson, gathered some essential items from his University of Arizona office, and then immediately headed back to Corvallis.

John is learning how to be a head coach as he goes. This is his first Division I head coaching position, although he came highly recommended from two coaches he worked under, Arizona Head Coach Lute Olson and Nebraska Head Coach Barry Collier.

He has developed a great reputation around the country. It is difficult to find someone who has a negative word about John. "People like him," said Lisa John Thursday when contacted by phone at the family's home. When asked about the family's feelings about moving to Corvallis, the wife of the new Oregon State basketball coach answered, "We're very excited. It's a tremendous opportunity."

"He's the hardest worker I've ever seen," she added. This agrees with what Coach John had to say Tuesday at the press conference. "We're going to bring our work ethic, we're going to bring our energy level, we're going to compete and we're not going to back down from anybody or anything."

John has begun to piece together his staff. It was confirmed by that Jeff Reinert is now in Corvallis working with John. They reportedly met with the team Thursday. The team will control Jimmie Haywood's destiny. If they want him back, he will be allowed to return.

Haywood quit the Oregon State basketball team late in the season after being confronted by former coach Ritchie McKay. After McKay left, he said he would love to come back to the team, but he wanted to wait and see who the new coach would be. Haywood was at Tuesday's conference introducing John and is said to endorse the hire. However, the team is yet to decide whether Haywood should be allowed to come back.

Oregon State fans have been cautiously optimistic about the hiring of John. After 12 consecutive non-winning seasons, many are eager for a change in direction. John hopes to bring a new attitude to Corvallis. "The fans up there seem to be savvy," Lisa John said before adding that she felt the fans would be happy with what they will see.

"They'll appreciate the effort."

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