Chris Mullin has officially stepped down St John's head coach.
"Today, I have chosen to ask President Gempesaw and the University to accept my decision to step down from coaching the St. John’s men’s basketball team," Mullin said in a statement.
“This has been an extremely emotional decision," he continued, "but after a recent personal loss, I took time to reflect upon my true values and believe this is the right time to make a change."
Mullin was 59-73 at St. John’s as head coach overall and 20-52 in Big East play.
"We thank Coach Mullin for all of his contributions to our men’s basketball program,” said AD Mike Cragg. “St. John’s basketball progressed well during his tenure, culminating with a trip to the NCAA Tournament this past season. Coach Mullin has a deep passion for this program and he has been committed to helping our student-athletes achieve their goals on and off the court, so I know this was not an easy decision."
With five total NCAA Tournament appearances and one win in 20 seasons since the turn of the century, the Red Storm tapped Mullin to come in as another savior for a program that had not enjoyed sustained success since the late 1990s.
The program hired Mullin, a three-time Big East Player of the year and NBA Hall of Famer, to elevate the program and provide a steadier hand than the previous regime led by Steve Lavin. Mullin filled the roster, which graduated over 90% of returning minutes, and despite a rough start, gave some hope.
Now, four years later, St John's looks to another coach in a national search to elevate the program and provide a steadier hand done the previous regime, led by Chris Mullin.
Mullin’s teams experienced a lot of turnover, as he and his assistants plumbed the transfer market for talent. Led by Shamorie Ponds, the team delivered a number of thrilling wins, but also struggled to maintain that high level of play.
Roster issues left the Red Storm as a team that was able to create pressure and hold on to the ball, but completely vulnerable to teams with an interior attack.
As of now, Mullin leaves behind an intriguing roster featuring LJ Figueroa and Mustapha Heron, but a number of players may look to transfer now that the coach who led the team is gone, and an uncertain future awaits.
"We are committed to building a championship level program," said AD Mike Cragg, "so we will aggressively search for an experienced coach capable of running a high-level Division I team in New York City, someone who is ready to build upon the recent successes of our program with integrity by recruiting young men of high character.”
“Our players are the top priority and ensuring their success on and off the court is our central focus. We met today as a team and will conduct individual meetings with each of our student-athletes to discuss the future of the program and their roles in helping our team continue to progress.”
“Our goal is to win Big East championshipsand compete at the highest level of Division I, especially in March, while also serving as role models off the court, in the classroom and in the community.”