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Saint Louis hires Travis Ford as men's basketball coach

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ST. LOUIS (AP) Saint Louis has hired Travis Ford to coach its men's basketball team.

The school set a news conference Thursday to introduce Ford, who replaces Jim Crews.

''We are going to deliver a brand of basketball that is fun, exciting, aggressive and up-tempo - one that recruits will love playing and fans will love watching,'' Ford said in a statement. ''We have a great setting to recruit to with a wonderful city, beautiful campus, terrific school and a first-class facility.''

Ford was fired by Oklahoma State this month after going 155-111 in eight seasons with five NCAA Tournament appearances. He is 345-257 in 19 seasons overall with earlier stops at Massachusetts, Eastern Kentucky and Campbellsville.

At UMass, like Saint Louis a member of the Atlantic 10 Conference, Ford had two 20-win teams in three seasons.

''Our vision for Billiken basketball is to be nationally competitive, and Travis shares in that vision,'' athletic director Chris May said in a statement. ''He has had success everywhere he has coached.''

The Billikens went 22-42 the last two seasons. Crews, who had joined the program as an assistant under the late Rick Majerus, was 77-56 in four seasons.

The 46-year-old Ford began his college career as a guard at Missouri before transferring to Kentucky where he was a member of a Final Four team in 1993.