Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Chris Mullin returning to St. John's as head coach

Chris Mullin has been named the next head coach at St. John's, the school announced Tuesday.

Mullin, 51, is one of the greatest players in St. John's history, winning the Big East Player of the Year award three times in the 1980s. He was drafted seventh overall in the 1985 NBA draft by the Golden State Warriors, playing in five straight All-Star Games from 1989 to 1993. Mullin is also a two-time Olympic gold medalist and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

"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," Mullin said. "There are so many people who have had a great influence on me to reach this point, especially my parents, Coach [Lou] Carnesecca and my former teammates."
Since retiring, Mullin has spent time in the front offices of the Golden State Warriors and Sacramento Kings.
Carnesecca, Mullin's former coach at St. John's, told ESPN.com's Ian O'Connor that he offered the new coach of the Red Storm some advice.

"We talked, and you have to understand this is a big thing for Chris, a major, major step," Carnesecca said. "He had a good thing going [in Sacramento], where he could come and go as he wants. Now it's a vocation. This is no longer a job, it's a vocation."

Carnesecca also believes Mullin has the makings of a good coach.

"People worry about the lack of experience, but Chris has been around so many great players and coaches," Carnesecca said. "I told him, 'If you ever stopped and wrote down everything you know about basketball, you would fill volumes.'"

Mullin replaces Steve Lavin, who parted ways with the Red Storm on Friday after five seasons. St. John's made two NCAA tournament appearances and two NIT appearances during Lavin's tenure.

The Red Storm were 21-12 this past season, getting knocked out in the round of 64 by San Diego State. St. John's loses four seniors, while Rysheed Jordan and Chris Obekpa are considering the NBA draft. Top-50 recruit Brandon Sampson also reopened his recruitment after Lavin and the program parted ways.
"I'm just delighted [by Mullin's hiring], and I think a lot of people feel the same way," Carnesecca said. "I think this is the most popular choice ever at St. John's."

Meanwhile, former Iowa State assistant Matt Abdelmassih is leaving for a similar position at St. John's.
Abdelmassih, the lone remaining member of coach Fred Hoiberg's original staff from 2010-11, was a student manager at St. John's from 2004 to 2007. He announced his departure from Iowa State on his Twitter account Tuesday, saying that St. John's holds a "special place" in his heart.

Abdelmassih was considered Hoiberg's top recruiter, helping sign Royce White, DeAndre Kane and current starter Jameel McKay. He says Iowa State will be a "ridiculously hard place to leave."

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