SYRACUSE, N.Y. — St. John's won't get its first choice for a new basketball coach.
A person close to the situation said Thursday that Georgia Tech coach Paul Hewitt turned down an offer from St. John's because of "family matters."
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because there was no official announcement. St. John's athletic director Chris Monasch was unavailable for comment.
When Norm Roberts was fired last week after six seasons at St. John's, Monasch said he wanted to hire "someone who has a record of success of getting into the NCAA tournament." St. John's hasn't been to the NCAAs since 2002.
Georgia Tech gave St. John's permission this week to interview Hewitt, a New Yorker who has been at the Atlanta school for 10 seasons. He took the Yellow Jackets to five NCAA tournaments, including the 2004 Final Four.
Monasch has not mentioned other any candidates for the job.
Georgia Tech (23-13) advanced to the championship game of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament and earned its first NCAA tournament victory since 2005 before falling to Ohio State in the second round.
The postseason wins followed a disappointing finish to the regular season that left Hewitt's job in doubt. St. John's was clearly interested.
Hewitt insisted last week he was not interested in moving.
"If they tell me they don't want me here anymore, that's fine, but my family likes it here. I like it here," he said.
Hewitt's six-year contract at about $1.3 million per year has an automatic rollover clause. The contract includes buyout clauses for Hewitt and Georgia Tech.
Monasch said St. John's is ready to offer a salary that could place the new coach among the highest paid in the country.
"Depending on who the coach is we will make the financial commitment and a length of time that is appropriate," he said last week.