Sunday, March 28, 2010

Iona's Willard Leaves For Seton Hall

Siena won't be the only MAAC men's program looking for a new head coach this off-season.

New York City-area newspapers are reporting that Iona coach Kevin Willard will be named the next head coach at Seton Hall.

Here's a link to a story from the New York Daily News:

Your blogger can't profess to know Willard as well as Siena's Fran McCaffery.

But, I do know that Willard is highly regarded as a young coach with a bright future by most in college basketball. Louisville coach Rick Pitino has regularly designated Willard as the best assistant he ever had.

Willard has done a masterful job at Iona, taking a program that won just two games in the 2006-07 season and restocking it with a roster full of solid players that win 21 games this past season.

It marks the third straight time that Seton Hall reached into the MAAC ranks for a head coach. Neither of the last two, former Siena coach Louis Orr; and, former Manhattan coach Bobby Gonzalez, worked out very well for the program.

But the very strong guess by this blogger is that Willard will do a considerably better job than his two MAAC predecessors in the position.

Next coach? I'm not exactly in the proverbial loop on this, but ...

Tim Welsh, who had a very successful run at the school before moving on to Providence (which fired him after the 2008-09 season) is doing TV work right now and would likely be interested in a return to the coaching ranks.


Bradley said...

I wonder what happens to the recruits that were coming in. Do they follow the coach, stay in the maac or find a new home?

Steve Amedio said...

Bradley --
Usually schools require signed recruits to at least talk to the new head caoch.
In the case of Iona, the recruits probably are not Big East-level players, so won't follow Willard to Seton Hall.
Unless they strongly dislike Iona's next coach, the guess here is that they will all stay at Iona.