Chris Mullin returns to his New York City roots, this time as SJU Coach

Chris Mullin accepted St. John's offer to be their next head coach. He hopes to build on the turnaround created by former head coach Steve Lavin.

Chris Mullin accepted St. John’s offer to be their next head coach. He hopes to build on the turnaround created by former head coach Steve Lavin.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

On Wednesday, April 1, 2015,  less than one week after declining to extend the contract of basketball coach Steve Lavin,  St. John’s University introduced their most respected former player, Chris Mullin, as their next head coach. The Red Storm  improved under former head coach Steve Lavin and the school hopes to take that success even further with the Mullin. The St. John’s alum was hired 30 years to the day he led the school to the final four of the NCAA tournament in 1985.

Retired St John's Coach Lou Carnesecca holds up jersey with Chris Mullin's number as Mullins is introduced as the new basketball coach at his alma mater.

Retired St John’s Coach Lou Carnesecca holds up jersey with Chris Mullin’s number as Mullins is introduced as the new basketball coach at his alma mater.

“It’s great to be home,” said Mullin after he was introduced in his new job. “I still think that St John’s needs to be first and foremost a New York City Team. We need to make our campus proud, our alumni proud and the whole city of New York proud of St. John’s University.” When he was asked about his lack of coaching skills Mullin had a quick response. “My resume as a player is separate from my career in coaching, starting now. I don’t think that one will tarnish the other and hopefully it will promote and improve it and make it better.”

Thrilled former St. John’s Coach Lou Carnesecca, who coached Mullin during St John’s basketball heyday, could not contain his excitement. “There’s a buzz in New York,” he said. “It’s clear, people are happy about it and it’s St. John’s University.”

St. John's  hopes Mullin has the same success as a first time head coach as former teammate Mark Jackson.

St. John’s hopes Mullin has the same success as a first time head coach as former teammate Mark Jackson.

Mullin has been working as an executive in the NBA for the last few seasons, as a general manager and an advisor. A lack of head coaching experience has been highlighted as a potential hurdle for Mullin as he hopes to show that his basketball prowess will translate to the bench. St. John’s is hoping that Mullin will have as much success as a first time coach as fellow alum Mark Jackson did with the Golden State Warriors.

Keeping New York City area talent like Kemba Walker (l) and Lance Stephenson (r) will be top priority  for St. John's new head coach.

Keeping New York City area talent like Kemba Walker (l) and Lance Stephenson (r) will be top priority for St. John’s new head coach.

Perhaps the biggest challenge facing Mullin is on the recruiting trail. Mullin is a Hall of Fame basketball player with deep New York City roots but he is not a high-profile personality. Mullin will have to do a much better job retaining New York City area NBA talent. There may not be as many New York City area players making it to the NBA at this time, but St. John’s needs to be able to land them if the program is to be restored to it highest achievement point of the mid 1980’s, which was the message Mullin delivered at his energetic introductory press conference.–OnPointPress.net

Breaking: St. John’s fires Steve Lavin after a five-year run, eyes Chris Mullin

Steve Lavin is out as head coach of the St. John's Red Storm after 5 seasons.

Steve Lavin is out as head coach of the St. John’s Red Storm after 5 seasons.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

Five seasons after hiring Steve Lavin to turn the team around, St. John’s University fired the head coach and immediately began to seek his replacement from its storied alumni body.

“Coach Lavin returned high expectations to our men’s basketball program and represented St. John’s in a positive way,” St. John’s athletic director Chris Monasch said in a statement Friday. “We appreciate his commitment to the program and to our student-athletes over the past five years.”

Chris Mullin is at the top of St. John's wish list as a replacement for Steve Lavin as head coach.

Chris Mullin is at the top of St. John’s wish list as a replacement for Steve Lavin as head coach.

St. John’s will look to quickly replace Lavin and Chris Mullin is one person that is highly sought after by the university. Mullin, who attended St. John’s between 1981 – 1985 is currently an advisor for the Sacramento Kings. Stay tuned for more information on the future of St. John’s basketball program.–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr. is a sports aficionado and a training/benefits consultant. Follow me @GloverIsGood on Twitter.com. For business inquiries contact 646-309-1938.