GW gives Joseph 5-year deal as coach; no longer 'interim'

WASHINGTON (AP) Maurice Joseph is sticking around as George Washington's basketball coach, signing a five-year contract on Monday after one season with an interim title in place of the fired Mike Lonergan.

The Colonials went 20-15 this season under Joseph, losing in the quarterfinals of the lower-tier College Basketball Invitational.

''Maurice has demonstrated that he is the right individual to lead our men's basketball program,'' athletic director Patrick Nero said, according to a statement released by the school. ''Our student-athletes respond well to his energy, passion and vision. ... We're confident that he will continue to recruit and retain the next generation of men's basketball student-athletes and help their talents shine.''

Six of GW's top eight scorers this season are expected to return to the team.

The 31-year-old Joseph said it is ''a privilege to be tasked with the responsibility of mentoring our team moving forward.''

Joseph, who is from Montreal, played for Lonergan at Vermont after transferring there from Michigan State.

After working as an assistant on Lonergan's staff for five years, Joseph was promoted to head coach in late September.

That came 10 days after Lonergan was fired, following an internal investigation by GW that determined he ''engaged in conduct inconsistent with the university's values.'' A Washington Post report in July included accusations of player mistreatment by Lonergan.

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