St. John's has officially announced that Barry "Slice" Rohrssen and Matt Abdelmassih have been added to head coach Chris Mullin's new coaching staff.
Rohrssen has been named as the associate head coach after stints as an assistant coach at St. Francis (NY), Pittsburgh and Kentucky. The Brooklyn native was also a head coach at Manhattan from 2006 to 2011 where he coached seven all-conference players and seven 1,000 point scorers. Three of Rohrssen's recruits led Manhattan (under Steve Masiello) to the 2014 NCAA Tournament. He also has various experiences coaching at the international level, which should help with the recruiting of 7'1" big man Georgios Papagiannis and point guard Federico Mussini.
"Chris is a lifelong friend and it is an honor to join his staff at St. John's University," Rohrssen said. "I have always admired Chris' work ethic, character and basketball instincts, and feel all these qualities he had as a player will serve him well as a coach."
Abdelmassih, an assistant coach, is a graduate of St. John's and returns to the school after five years as an assistant coach at Iowa State under former NBA coach Fred Hoiberg. Abdelmassih is known as a strong recruiter (like Rohrssen) and has brought a number of high quality transfers (DeAndre Kane) to the Cyclones to help them earn four straight NCAA Tournament berths.
"St. John's has always held a special place in my heart so I am ecstatic to join the program," Abdelmassih said.
Mullin was informed by his friends, Steve Kerr and Mark Jackson, early on in the process that the coaches surrounding the main man are the key pieces to continue to build a solid program.
"It is going to be really important to have a strong staff around me," Mullin said at his introductory press conference a couple weeks ago. "I always relied on my teammates as a player and that is how I am going to coach. I am going to rely on my staff, and that staff is going to be hard working."
Rohrssen and Abdelmassih are the perfect examples of hard-working sidekicks for Mullin, who are going to improve the Johnnies chances of landing the top talent in the New York/New Jersey area. Rohrssen was one of the main reasons Kentucky landed Isaiah Briscoe over St. John's back in the winter and Abdelmassih was the leading recruiter for the top recruit in New York in Cheick Diallo.
Even John Calipari has high praise for his former assistant coach, who is returning to his home grounds.
"I couldn't be happier for my friend for 30 years," Coach Calipari said. "He's not only a great person he's a terrific coach and recruiter and one of my loyal friends. I wish Slice and Kerry nothing but the best in their new opportunity."
Meanwhile, St. John's has already had plenty of activity on the recruiting road as they have landed transfer Tariq Owens, JUCO three point shooter Darien Williams and 2015 big man Yankuba Sima. The Johnnies have offered multiple high quality New York players, including 2018 Roselle Catholic, Naz Reid, and 2016 Christ The King, Rawle Alkins, and have Miami transfer Manu Lecomte interested.