Tom Davis, former assistant coach at Maryland and American universities, was named head basketball coach at Boston College yesterday.

Catholic University coach Jack Kvancz, a leading candidate for the BC job, withdrew his name from consideration earlier yesterday. Kvancz is a BC alumnus.

Davis, who has been head coach at Lafayette college since 1971, has a coaching record of 112-42, including seasons of 19-7, 21-6 and 22-6 and two NIT teams. He was an assistant coach at Maryland under Frank Fellows until they were fired after the 1968-69 season. He then coached under Tom Young at American until 1971.

Kvancz said his decision was an agonizing one. It was predicated largely on CU officials' promises to build a new gymnasium and because of the continued improvement of the Cardinals' baseketball team, he said.

Another factor, Kvancz said, was that he, his wife, Janis, and their three children plan to move into a new house in Fairfax County in March.

To stay at Catholic, Kvancz, 30, passed up a job reportedly worth $30,000. He said he probably is the lowest-paid head basketball coach at a Division 1 school in the area.

B.C. athletic director William J. Flynn said yesterday, "We consider Jack very highly. He's an outstanding young man," Flynn said of the 1968 graduate, who played on two NCAA and one NIT teams in three years.

CU, Kvancz said, "has done nothing contract-wise to make me stay. But I hope they show some loyalty to me and Eddie McNamara (the assistant basketball, coach).

"I don't believe in the hold-'em-up philosophy of some basketball coaches, but I think I'd slit my throat if they don't come through with the new gym," he said.A $60,000 architectural study has been commissioned for the new facility estimated to cost between $5 million and $7 million.

The new facility would help recruiting at Catholic, which moved up to Division 1 this year, Kvanczs second year at Brookland.

The team is 10-11 this season and Kvancz hopes to reach the .500 mark tonight when CU meets Mount St. Mary's (9-13) in an 8 p.m. game at Memorial Gym.

"It's our Holy Cross-Boston College matchup," he said. "You can throw out all your records. You can throw out all your strategy. The kids are just going to go at each other."