Travis Steele introduced as Xavier's head basketball coach - Cincinnati News, Weather, Sports from FOX19 NOW-WXIX

Travis Steele introduced as Xavier's head basketball coach

Xavier men's basketball head coach Travis Steele speaks during a news conference at the Cintas Center, Wednesday, April 4, 2018, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo) Xavier men's basketball head coach Travis Steele speaks during a news conference at the Cintas Center, Wednesday, April 4, 2018, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

Travis Steele was officially introduced as Xavier’s 18th head men’s basketball coach Wednesday and delivered one clear message.

“Every coach has made Xavier a better place than it was before and that’s my responsibility,” Steele said. “We want to compete for Big East regular season championships, Big East tournament championships and go where Xavier has never been in the NCAA tournament.”

Steele, who turns 37 in November, is one of the youngest head coaches in major college basketball and had the support of his players the moment Chris Mack broke the news he was leaving for Louisville.

“We made it clear that we wanted Coach Steele,” Xavier sophomore forward Tyrique Jones told FOX19 NOW. “We gathered the troops and said, ‘How many votes for Coach Steele?’ Then, we went upstairs and let him know.”

Steele mentioned the “next two percent” several times in his introductory press conference. It’s the two percent he believes Xavier hasn’t accomplished yet as a program -- making the Final Four and winning a national championship.

In Steele’s words, the difference you’ll see is a bigger emphasis on defense that hasn’t been present in the last couple of seasons. It’s something he believes can take the program to the next level, despite losing senior sharpshooters like Trevon Bluiett and J.P. Macura.

“It’s about growth,” Steele said. “I’m going to hit it head-on. We don’t want to take any step back.”

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