ST. LOUIS - One of the most successful prep basketball coaches in Missouri history was sentenced to 12 months in federal prison for his part in a real estate scheme. Floyd Irons, 60, also must pay $653,000 in restitution. Two of his partners received harsher punishments.
Judge E. Richard Webber sentenced Irons after hearing three hours of testimony on his character. Judge Webber also sentenced Mike Noll to 20 months in prison and ordered him to pay $1 million in restitution, and sentenced John Mineo Jr. to a year and a day in prison and ordered him to pay $653,000 restitution.
Irons pleaded guilty to mail and wire fraud in September in a case involving four homes. In each case, prosecutors say Irons paid significantly more than market value for the properties and falsified loan applications to get the money. Mineo paid Irons and the others $20,000 to $60,000 in kickbacks per house.
Irons won more than 800 games and 10 state titles in 33 years as basketball coach at Vashon, an inner city public school. He was forced out as Vashon's principal and basketball coach in 2006 amid allegations of financial mismanagement.
As part of the federal investigation, Irons agreed to talk about eligibility and recruiting violations during his years at Vashon. Last fall, Irons admitted renting an apartment for two Illinois teen-agers so they could play for Vashon - at least 15 of his players from 1998 to 2007 may not have been eligible. Vashon could be stripped of up to five state basketball titles.
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