The longest men's college basketball coaching search this spring has finally come to an end.

Howard hired Gil Jackson as its new coach, the school announced yesterday. Jackson will be introduced at a news conference on Monday.

"I could not be happier with Coach Jackson joining the Howard University family," Howard President H. Patrick Swygert said in a statement released by the school. "Coach Jackson's talent, experience and dedication will help lead Howard's basketball program to the next level of athletic competition."

Jackson, 57, has spent the last 16 years as an assistant coach to Fran Dunphy at the University of Pennsylvania. This is his first Division I head coaching job.

"I'm very excited," Jackson said by phone from Philadelphia. "It's a great opportunity. I think it's a good fit for me. Howard has such a tremendous academic reputation, and I've always been part of good academic schools."

Howard fired Frankie Allen on March 9 after the Bison ended the season on a 17-game losing streak. Howard, which had six sophomores and three freshmen on its roster, went 5-23 last season, 2-16 in Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference -- its fewest wins in five years. Allen was 52-83 in five seasons.

Prior to Allen's arrival, the Bison had won a total of three games in the previous two seasons. In 2001-02, the Bison went 18-13 under Allen and finished third in the MEAC, their best record in 10 years. Howard advanced to the MEAC tournament title game, making its first championship appearance since 1992. The Bison have not won a regular season or tournament title the past 13 years.