Chris Mullin resigns as head coach of St. John’s basketball
After four seasons and a NCAA Tournament appearance, Chris Mullin resigned as head coach of the St. John’s.
After winning 21 games and making to the NCAA Tournament this season, St. John’s head coach Chris Mullin announced his resignation from the school on Tuesday.
Mullin, who finishes with a 59-73 record with the Red Storm, announced his decision after weeks of speculation about his future. The team’s record improved each year under Mullin’s leadership as he led a complete rebuild of a program that started to falter in the Big East. Mullin’s resignation also comes after his brother passed away after a battle with cancer in March.
“This has been an extremely emotional decision, but after a recent personal loss, I took time to reflect upon my true values and believe this is the right time to make a change. I am extremely grateful to the administration, which has supported me and our basketball program on every level. I’ve been amazed by our coaches, trainers, managers and staff who work relentless hours, which enables this team to grow and thrive. I’ve been honored to coach the young men who are the heart and soul of this program. It’s a job I will always cherish.”
“I am proud of our accomplishments. NCAA Tournament Selection Sunday will be a lifetime memory. I am forever grateful to St. John’s for giving me the opportunity to hear Carnesecca Arena and Madison Square Garden roar again for college basketball and especially for our players.”
Mullin departs the school after a report surfaced of “contentious” meetings that took place between the St. John’s legend and new athletic director Mike Cragg. After the reports were released Cragg offered a statement of support for Mullin on Sunday.
On Tuesday, Cragg offered positive words about Mullin.
“Coach Mullin restored excitement to our men’s basketball program and represented St. John’s in a positive way,” Cragg said in a statement. “Since I arrived at St. John’s in October, I have had the opportunity to celebrate many student-athlete accomplishments and experience our return to the NCAA Tournament. We thank Coach Mullin and his staff for their commitment to running a program that we can all be proud of.”
The Mullin news came after superstar guard Shamorie Ponds announced that he is leaving St. John’s to enter the NBA Draft. Justin Simon has indicated that he would be going to the NBA Draft as well and Bryan Trimble Jr. is reportedly transferring. Throw in junior college transfer Cam Mack requesting his release from the school and four-star recruit Nate Tabor recently decommitting from the program and St. John’s is a team that will need to be built back up once again.
Among the names mentioned to replace Mullin are current Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley and Iona coach Tim Cluess.
“Our search for the 21st head coach in the storied history of our basketball program is underway,” said Cragg. “We are committed to building a championship level program, so we will aggressively search for an experienced coach capable of running a high-level Division I team in New York City, someone who is ready to build upon the recent successes of our program with integrity by recruiting young men of high character.”