In a move that had been anticipated for some time, Villanova coach Jay Wright made it official yesterday by hiring former Wildcat Chris Walker to become a member of his staff.

Walker replaces former associate head coach Patrick Chambers, who left right after the team's Final Four appearance in early April to become the head coach at Boston University.

"We are thrilled," Wright said in a statement. "He has had an outstanding coaching career since his graduation and we are very fortunate to have him here as a teacher and mentor for our student-athletes."

Another alumnus, Doug West, is already on the staff.

Walker, a point guard, graduated in 1992. He was on the Villanova staff in 2000-01 under Steve Lappas before leaving with Lappas for Massachusetts (2001-03, 2004-05). He has been the associate head coach at Vanderbilt (1996-99) and Pepperdine (1999-2000).

Walker coached the AAU T-Mac All-Stars in his native Houston and spent the last two seasons as an assistant at New Mexico. According to those who should know, he has developed some excellent recruiting connections in that part of the country. *

- Mike Kern