John Kochan of Davidson and Tom Abatemarco of St. John's, two asistant college basketball coaches known as excellent recruiters, are expected to be hired by Maryland Coach Lefty Driesell within the next few days, it was learned last night.
Only some problems involving paper work are holding up the official announcement after Roger Bergey, Harrisonburg (Va.) High School coach of 7-foot-4 Ralph Sampson, yesterday declined a job offer from Driesell.
Kochan, 30, a graduate assistant at Maryland in 1972-75, when he earned his master's degree there, had brief head-coaching experience at Davidson. He was interim coach there after Dave Pritchett, another former Driesell aide, became ill.
Kochan coached last season at Davidson under Eddit Biedenbach. Abatemarco and he were both members of the Davidson staff during the 1977-78 season. Kochan is a graduate of Lehman College and grew up in Yonkers, N.Y.
Abatemarco, 29, is known in his profession as "a relentless recruiter," according to one head coach. He recruited center Jeff Ruland for Iona, outrecruiting his new boss in the process, before moving to Davidson and then to St. John's last season.
Abatemarco also grew up in the New York area and attended Dowling College on Long Island.
In Harrisonburg, Bergey, whose star player signed last week at Virginia, said, "I declined the job. I just want to stay right here, that's all. It's a great opportunity, a great situation at Maryland. But I decided to stay in high-school coaching."