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New St. John's basketball Assistant: Tony Chiles

St. John's has a new assistant coach, Drexel's Tony Chiles. He used to work at Iona, bringing in very good NYC talent to the New Rochelle school. Iona won 2 Metro Athletic Conference titles while he was an assistant there.

Chiles, touted in the past as a very good recruiter, is noted to not be affiliated with any one NYC AAU or high school program, which will really help new coach Steve Lavin get in with the best players in the city.

From VP Hoops:

Steve Lavin has picked the brains of everyone in the area you can….and Tony Chiles was on every single person’s list. He knows the city inside and out and will immediately get Lavin involved with local kids....

The reason why the St. John’s coaching staff hires are getting so much attention is simple….the salaries are competitive with MAAC head coach pay.

Good digging by Johnny Jungle. And sounds like a good get for Steve Lavin.

edit: So far, the staff - and the search - is not just focused on the big sexy names, but on guys who have done a good job and aren't polarizing figures. Mike Dunlap - formerly of the University of Arizona and the winner of a pair of Division II national championships - has been mentioned among others, including New Heights AAU coach Kimani Young, Book Richardson, and former Duke Blue Devil and ESPN announcer Jay Williams.

And the buzz this coaching search has created is amazing. Daily mentions of St. John's while most are focused on the Duke/ Butler national championship? A search for assistants that's likened to sharks in a tank at feeding time? A little buzz gets the school into the minds of recruits, and that's good to see.