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Chris Mullin expected to step down as head coach at St. John's, reports say

Head coach Chris Mullin of the St. John's

Head coach Chris Mullin of the St. John's Red Storm reacts to the referee against the DePaul Blue Demons at Carnesecca Arena in Queens, New York on Saturday, Jan 12, 2019. Credit: Steven Ryan

Chris Mullin’s time as head coach at St. John’s reportedly is coming to an end.

According to multiple reports, Mullin is expected to step down from his role at his alma mater with an official announcement expected this week.

CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein was first to report the news. Rothstein also reported that Bobby Hurley, currently at Arizona State, is expected to be St. John’s top candidate for a replacement.

In a statement issued Saturday morning, St. John’s athletic director Mike Cragg said the school was not actively looking to replace Mullin.

“Let me be clear and I said from the start, Coach Mullin is our head coach and we are not looking for another head coach,” Cragg said in the statement.

The program has experienced some tumult in recent days. Star guard Shamorie Ponds declared for the NBA Draft on March 28. Assistant coach Matt Abdelmassih, Mullin’s top recruiter, left to take a position at Nebraska on April 1. Cam Mack, a point guard St. John’s signed out of Salt Lake CC, asked to be released from his commitment Friday.

Mullin is 59-73 in four seasons, has two years left on his contract and is at the point that schools typically offer an extension to convey stability to recruits. Asked about an extension the day after the Red Storm lost to Arizona State in the NCAA Tournament, Cragg told Newsday, “I don’t think it’s necessary in this era with the college culture so fluid.”

St. John’s finished the season 21-13, reaching the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2015 and the first time since Mullin became coach. It also reached the national rankings for the first time since the 2014-15 season, at No. 24 on Jan. 15. The Red Storm dropped four of their last five in the regular season, suffered their worst loss of the season to Marquette in the Big East Tournament quarterfinals and was the final pick for the NCAA field. They have finished under .500 in Big East play four straight seasons.

Cragg said in the statement that he and Mullin have had several meetings since the end of the season, calling them “engaging and positive,” and added that in assessing how to take the program forward, Mullin “has been great throughout.”

With Roger Rubin


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