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Jim Platt hired as assistant at Saint Louis

Sep 25, 2012, 1:01 PM EDT

Jim Platt AP

Longtime college basketball coach Jim Platt has been hired as an assistant at Saint Louis to help on a staff that is now without head coach Rick Majerus, who took a leave of absence due to health concerns in late August.

Platt, who has spent 32 years as a head coach or assistant at the Division I level, has been on staff at schools that include Charleston Southern and Arkansas-Little Rock, most recently serving as an assistant at Army from 2005-10.

“SLU represents the very best in collegiate athletics,” Platt said in a statement. “It’s a school with tremendous academics and one that is competing at the highest level of college basketball. It’s the best combination to represent as a college coach.”

While at Army, Platt spent four seasons working under Jim Crews, who is now the interim head coach at Saint Louis in Majerus’ absence.

“Jim has been a great mentor for me during my career,” Platt went on to say. “I believe that under Jim’s leadership, experience and value system, the basketball program is going to be represented in a manner that emulates the values of Saint Louis University and Billiken athletics.”

As for Majerus, he announced last month that an ongoing heart condition would force him to take a leave of absence, coming off a season in which he guided the Billikens to a 26-8 overall record and a near-upset of No. 1 Michigan State in the NCAA tournament.

Saint Louis opens its season on Nov. 9 against USC Upstate.

Daniel Martin is a writer and editor at JohnnyJungle.com, covering St. John’s. You can find him on Twitter:@DanielJMartin_