St. John's Officially Names Chris Mullin Head Coach | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Wednesday / October 27.
  • St. John’s Officially Names Chris Mullin Head Coach

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    NCAA Basketball: Seton Hall at St. John'sNEW YORK — St. John’s officially named Chris Mullin its new head men’s basketball coach on Tuesday and the legendary former player will be introduced Wednesday at a 1:30 p.m press conference.

    The Mullin news first surfaced Sunday night when SNY.tv and other outlets reported that Mullin would succeed Steve Lavin as head coach.

    “Obviously, it’s a surreal experience coming home and returning to St. John’s University. This is a role I have been preparing for all of my life,” said Mullin. “There are so many people who have had a great influence on me to reach this point, especially my parents, Coach Carnesecca and my former teammates. I am extremely grateful to Dr. Gempesaw for providing me this tremendous opportunity to give back to the university where I spent some of the greatest years of my life.”

    Most recently an advisor to the Sacramento Kings, Mullin has never coached at any level but is the greatest link to the program’s glory years.

    “I look forward to mentoring our current and future players, passing along knowledge and aiding in their development to help them reach their goals, similar to the impact Coach [Lou] Carnesecca had on me thirty years ago,” said Mullin.

    Mullin is the school’s all-time leading scorer and led the Johnnies to the 1985 Final Four. He went on to a Hall of Fame career in the NBA. He also won a old medal with the original Dream Team in 1992.

    “We are very pleased to welcome back Chris Mullin to St. John’s,” said St. John’s President Conrado “Bobby” Gempesaw. “I know that Chris will be an inspiring coach for our basketball players and a great ambassador for St. John’s University. His passion for the game and love for the university is a winning combination that will strengthen our basketball program, and support our efforts to ensure student success in academics and athletics.”

    Mullin has already taken steps to form is staff, adding former Iowa State assistant Matt Abdelmassih, the lead recruiter on uncommitted McDonald’s All-American forward Cheick Diallo.

    Mullin is close friends with Kentucky assistant Barry “Slice” Rohrssen. Newsday reported earlier Tuesday that Rohrssen’s Kentucky contract pays him a $375,000 base salary through June 2016 and that he would need the blessing of coach John Calipari to leave.

    Kentucky will play in the national semifinals on Saturday against Wisconsin and it remains unclear A) if Rohrssen would want to leave Kentucky and B) if St. John’s could match his salary.

    Mullin and his staff will need to get to work recruiting as soon as possible with the first recruiting weekend coming up April 10. For a complete roadmap on what St. John’s needs to do in recruiting, click here.

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.