Gerry Gimelstob, who describes himself as a man who will bring discipline and a winning tradition to the George Washington University basketball team, accepted terms of a multi-year contract yesterday as the Colonials' new coach.
Gimelstob, 30, an assistant at Indiana the past three years, arrived in Washington late in the morning and was offered the job over lunch with university President Lloyd H. Elliott and Athletic Director Bob Faris. He then returned to Bloomington, Ind., last night to help the Hoosiers prepare for Saturday's NCAA semifinal against LSU.
Terms of Gimelstob's contract were not revealed, but he is expected to receive a salary in the $30,000-$35,000 range. The length of his contract is at least three seasons, probably four, it was learned."It makes a definite commitment on GW's part," Gimelstob said.
Both Gimelstob and Faris said the recruiting budget would be adequate. Sources said that the candidates were told their recruiting budget would be about $20,000.
Gimelstob replaces Bob Tallent, who was fired March 4 after seven seasons (8-19 last season, 102-84 overall, but two losing seasons among the last three). At the time Faris said he thought the program was going in the wrong direction. Yesterday, Faris said he thought the naming of Gimelstob would start a new era in GW basketball.
Known for its provincialism in the past, GW took its coach from a respected national program that averaged 23 victories a season for the past decade.Gimselstob, a native of Springfield, N.J., comes to GW highly recommended by IU Coach Bob Knight -- a big factor in Faris' decision since Knight's former assistants have fared exceptionally well in Division I jobs. Gimelstob says he will use as much of Knight's system as possible with the Colonials.
"We'll use Bob Knight's defensive system -- play all man-to-man defense," he said. "We'll probably make some adjustments in his offensive system, depending on how the kids can play."
"he's determined to put out a winner through hard work," said Faris, who led a three-man selection committee that sifted through approximately 100 applications and interviewed eight other candidates.
"We're going to win, but win with integrity, honesty and good student athletes," said Gimelstob. "We want to be very competive and be a factor within the (Eastern Eight) conference."
By a factor, Fimelstob said he meant a finish among the top four teams. That was one of Tallent's downfalls. In the six seasons of the Eastern Eight and its predecessor, the Eastern Intercollegiate Basketball League, the Colonials never have won a first-round tournament game and never have finished among the league's top four teams in the regular season.
By discipline, Gimselstob said he meant "doing what you have to do when you have to do it as well as you can and doing it all the time."
Gimelstob said that he wants his players clean shaven and wearing coats and ties on game days. "Things are going to be expected of them on the court that are much tougher than wearing a coat and tie", he said. "It's going to take a lot of sacrifices for us to be successful. That (the coat and tie) is minimal, but it starts there and we're going to have it done.
"If Isiah Thomas and Quinn Buckner and Kent Benson and Scott May have never had a problem wearing a tie and jacket and being clean shaven during the season, I don't see why there should be any problems here."
Tallent complained of GW's lack of separate academic standards as being a problem in assembling a competitive team with such major state universities in the league as Rutgers. Pittsburgh, Rhode Island and West Virginia. Gimelstob said he considers GW's academic policies "a very positive thing. GW attracts good kids who are good students. I want to recruit good kids who are good students who also happen to be good basketball players."
Gimelstob has not settled on any assistant coaches yet, though Faris said he is likely to hire a man familiar with the Washington area. He only has three scholarships next year, but four veteran players and three transfers will be back.
Gimelstob attended the University of Rhode Island and graduated in three years. He had grown close to Knight when the coach was at West Point and he became a graduate assistant under him at Indiana for two year. Gimelstob then served four years as an assistant under Jerry Pimm at Utah, before returning to Indiana three years ago. He had been on Knight's staff the longest of the current assistants.
"I'm sure," said Knight, "that he'll be as successful as the other assistants I have had that are doing so well throughout the country."