(SportsNetwork.com) – In hopes of recapturing its past glory in men’s basketball, St. John’s is turning to one of its all-time greats.
The New York Daily News reported Monday that Hall of Famer Chris Mullin has agreed to become the Red Storm’s next head coach, with an official announcement expected to come on Wednesday.
Mullin won three Big East Player of the Year awards as a St. John’s forward from 1981-85 and still holds the school’s all-time scoring record with 2,240 points. The Brooklyn native went on to have an illustrious 16-year playing career in the NBA, during which he was named to five All-Star teams and won a gold medal in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics as a member of the United States’ famed “Dream Team”.
The 51-year-old has never coached at any level, however, though Mullin sports significant experience as an NBA executive. He served as the vice president of basketball operations for the Golden State Warriors from 2004-09 and has worked as an advisor for the Sacramento Kings since 2013.
Mullin will replace Steve Lavin, who mutually parted ways with the university last week. The Red Storm went 92-72 in five seasons under Lavin, reaching the NCAA Tournament twice along with a pair of NIT appearances.
St. John’s last won an NCAA Tournament game in 1999, however. The Red Storm reached the Final Four during Mullin’s senior season in 1985, but have made the Sweet 16 only twice since.
The Red Storm fell to San Diego State in this year’s NCAA second round, concluding an up-and-down season in which they finished 21-12.
Mullin’s first order of business may be attempting to convince starters Rysheed Jordan and Chris Opekba, both of which are believed to be considered applying for the NBA draft, to remain with the program. St. John’s also loses four key seniors in 2,000-point scorer D’Angelo Harrison, Sir’Dominic Pointer, Phil Greene IV and Jamal Branch.