St. John’s has apparently extended an offer to Chris Mullin. He has not accepted yet but rumor is he will do so.
He has never been a coach at any level. He worked in the front office of both Golden State and Sacramento.
These moves don’t tend to work out well, not that there’s a long history of them. The last big name guy on Mullin’s level I can recall doing this was Clyde Drexler at Houston. He went 19-39 in two years and quit.
Mullin’s been away from the college game for a LONG time. It would be akin to someone like Scott Skiles taking a collegiate job. When you haven’t been recruiting, haven’t been dealing with the realities of running a D1 program which don’t involve anything on the court, etc. it can be daunting. We’ll see what kind of staff he assembles and that will be crucial. He’s obviously a legendary player…one of the best collegiate shooters I’ve ever seen and a fantastic pro, sort of a smaller version of Larry Bird in a way (or maybe Rick Barry with a personality). I would imagine his name carries immense weight still with people of a certain age in the NYC area but that word “age” is the key one. How will he be able to recruit? Do the people at St.John’s believe that his name will sway kids? I don’t know…maybe it will but I think if there’s any positive for him in those terms it would be more about his front office experience and being able to sell the idea that he knows what it takes to get to the League *today* because of that and can help get kids there. I know this much…he’s going to be dealing with a depleted roster as St.John’s loses a lot of guys from this year’s NCAA team.
On one other Johnnies note, apparently another alum, Metta World Peace/Ron Artest, registered interest in the job. Wouldn’t that have been an interesting hire?
DePaul hired Dave Leitao…AGAIN. He was coach there before, from 2002-05 before he left for Virginia, where he absolutely cratered. He was hired for this job away from an assistant’s gig at Tulsa, where he worked under Frank Haith (as he had at Mizzou before that). This strikes me as really bizarre. Now, he did have relative success at DePaul…took them to the post season all three years he was there and to the NCAA Tournament once (that’s why he got hired at UVa), but rehiring a guy who left you once just seems…strange. I thought they’d try to go for someone with Chicagoland connections and background. I guess a guy who already coached and recruited there for 3 years counts, sort of, but still very surprised by that move. I tend to think it’ll be panned in Chicago and that program desperately needs an uptick in energy and enthusiasm.
On Texas…no huge movement but more noise that Shaka Smart and Gregg Marshall are the two big names and that both supposedly have interest. I will be fascinated to see which way they opt to go if that’s true. One other interesting note there…a columnist for the paper in Austin indicated that Texas will not pay more than $3 million/year for their next head coach. While that would still fit into the lower reaches of the top 10, it wouldn’t represent much of a bump from what Rick Barnes was making. Also, word yesterday was that Texas wanted the job filled by the end of this coming week. We’ll see if they stick to that timetable.
Speaking of schools trying to throw ungodly amounts of money at coaches, Gregg Marshall supposedly told Alabama he isn’t interested. No surprise to me…IMO, I think you can make a case that’s not a better job than Wichita State. Many might disagree with that but the SEC is such a f-ing wasteland if you’re not in Lexington or Gainesville. NO ONE cares what you do. Put it this way…if Marshall has designs on a job where he can contend for regular Final Fours or maybe even national titles, I don’t think Alabama is the place to do it. Not sure what they do…maybe they make a run at Barnes? Murray State’s head coach, who is a Bama alum, just signed an extension the other day, so he may not be viable.
Another SEC team, Tennessee, is also looking for a new coach. That job is a tire fire IMO…they basically ran Cuonzo Martin out of town and have tolerated two cheaters on either side of him. I would assume they are going to go straight and narrow after this latest debacle, so Rick Barnes would be a viable name if he’s interested. Other interesting names being mentioned are Butler’s Chris Holtmann (I don’t know about this…Butler tends to hold onto their guys longer than this), Brad Underwood at Stephen F Austin, and one Little Ricky Pitino. Personally, I think Minnesota is a better job but that’s me.