A hiring of Chris Mullin was not allowed to help prepare the ground for his departure




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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – FEBRUARY 12: Head Coach Chris Mullin talks with Shamorie Ponds, No. 2 of St. John's Red Storm, during a timeout against the Butler Bulldogs at the Carnesecca Arena on February 12, 2019 in New York. (Photo by Steven Ryan / Getty Images)

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It was just over four years ago that the President of St. John's School, Conrado "Bobby" Gempesaw, stood in front of a lectern in the school's gymnasium, the Carnesecca Arena, and praised his new employee, Chris Mullin, stating: "we decided who would be the best coach for St. John's. I can assure you that I found it. "

But these high dreams have now been supplanted by the harsh reality that Mullin's passing as head coach is over, with the exception of negotiations. Mullin is expected to resign very soon, according to a source, and he and the school are working on a buyback to make up for the two years and $ 4 million remaining in his contract.

Mullin's lack of experience as a head coach when hired has made him a suspicious choice for many members of the basketball community, despite his legendary field exploits for the sport. school. But that did not deter Gempesaw, who was the driving force behind the hiring, according to sources. In fact, during most of his coaching term, Mullin reported directly to Gempesaw.

But that changed last year. The following is a synthesis of the relationship between Mullin and Gempesaw, which was reconstructed from sources familiar with what was going on behind the scenes. He was so upset that Mike Mullin recently became head of Sports Director Mike Cragg. days, there is no relief. Mullin was trying to get a contract extension, knowing how difficult it would be to attract a very powerful assistant coach after the departure of Matt Abdelmassih, an experienced recruiter, for Nebraska and, given the perception of this last, was a lame duck after a disappointing experience. Season 2018-19.

In fact, it was a similar situation in which Gempesaw first refused Mullin. According to several people aware of what happened, Mullin wanted to hire former Rutgers head coach Mike Rice as an assistant last summer. Rice was not a university coach since 2013, when Rutgers fired him after an embarrassing video got him intimidating his players during training. But Rice, who is rather unobtrusive off the field, has carved a reputation within the basketball community as a formidable recruiter and strong coach of X's and OS's, especially on the defensive side.

But when Mullin announced Rice's name in Gempesaw, the school president hesitated, a source said. Gempesaw may have feared a backlash and a potential risk of public relations. Rice would have been a great addition to a team that was often disinhibited in defense last season, which is why the talented Red Storm has only made a single entry at the NCAA Tournament.

The landscape changed again for Mullin when Gempesaw hired Cragg in September. Cragg had been the main administrator of Duke University's basketball program since 2000, before moving to Queens to oversee all sports programs, including men's basketball. His hiring was the first time in Mullin's tenure that he should meet someone else than Gempesaw.

Mullin did not report to Anton Goff, Cragg's predecessor, who resigned in June 2018.

People aware of the situation were expecting Mullin to stay until Abdelmassih left to join Fred Hoiberg, now head coach of Nebraska. Abdelmassih was previously part of the Hoiberg staff in Iowa before Hoiberg moved to the NBA to coach Chicago.

Several names were discussed for a replacement, and one source said that one of them was Andy Borman, executive director of the New York Renaissance, who has a basketball team. We did not know if Cragg was pushing Borman, a Duke graduate. Mullin made it clear that he wanted someone with the major division I know to fill the slot of Abdelmassih.

The situation reached a critical mass early Saturday to the point where Cragg found it necessary to issue a statement reaffirming the school's commitment to Mullin. But Mullin was not included in the statement, nor did Cragg explain it at the New York Post's request.

So the rumors are not muffled and CBSSports.com announced shortly before the Texas Tech-Virginia NCAA championship game that Mullin was going to retire. This has not yet been formalized by the school, but the rupture between Mullin and his superiors seems to have led this story to a very different end from that imagined by Gempesaw four years ago.

St. John's was 21-12 last season, but only 8-10 in the Big East, and 20-58 in conference play during Mullin's four seasons.

According to a strange source, Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley is the main target of St. John's. Hurley's Sun Devils eliminated St. John's from NCAAs. Hurley, of course, was a college star at Duke, while Cragg was already a director. If he is hired, this would be just another proof of the identity of the one who gives the go-ahead to St. John's.

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – FEBRUARY 12: Head Coach Chris Mullin talks with Shamorie Ponds, No. 2 of St. John's Red Storm, during a timeout against the Butler Bulldogs at the Carnesecca Arena on February 12, 2019 in New York. (Photo by Steven Ryan / Getty Images)

Getty

It was just over four years ago that the president of St. John's School, Conrado "Bobby" Gempesaw, stood up in front of a lectern in the school's gymnasium, the Carnesecca Arena, and rented his new employee, Chris Mullin, stating "we decided who would be the best coach for St. John's. I can assure you that I found it. "

But these high dreams have now been supplanted by the harsh reality that Mullin's passing as head coach is over, with the exception of negotiations. Mullin is expected to resign very soon, according to a source, and the school and he are working on a buyout to make up for the remaining two years and $ 4 million of his contract.

Mullin's lack of experience as a head coach when hired has made him a suspicious choice for many members of the basketball community, despite his legendary field exploits for the sport. school. But that did not deter Gempesaw, who was the driving force behind the hiring, according to sources. In fact, during most of his coaching term, Mullin reported directly to Gempesaw.

But that changed last year. The following is a synthesis of the relationship between Mullin and Gempesaw, which was reconstructed from sources familiar with what was going on behind the scenes. He was so upset that Mike Mullin recently became head of Sports Director Mike Cragg. days, there is no relief. Mullin was trying to get a contract extension, knowing how difficult it would be to attract a very powerful assistant coach after the departure of Matt Abdelmassih, an experienced recruiter, for Nebraska and, given the perception of this last, was a lame duck after a disappointing experience. Season 2018-19.

In fact, it was a similar situation in which Gempesaw first refused Mullin. According to several people aware of what happened, Mullin wanted to hire former Rutgers head coach Mike Rice as an assistant last summer. Rice was not a university coach since 2013, when Rutgers fired him after an embarrassing video got him intimidating his players during training. But Rice, who is rather unobtrusive off the field, has carved a reputation within the basketball community as a formidable recruiter and strong coach of X's and OS's, especially on the defensive side.

But when Mullin announced Rice's name in Gempesaw, the school president hesitated, a source said. Gempesaw may have feared a backlash and a potential risk of public relations. Rice would have been a great addition to a team that was often disinhibited in defense last season, which is why the talented Red Storm has only made a single entry at the NCAA Tournament.

The landscape changed again for Mullin when Gempesaw hired Cragg in September. Cragg had been the main administrator of Duke University's basketball program since 2000, before moving to Queens to oversee all sports programs, including men's basketball. His hiring was the first time in Mullin's tenure that he should meet someone else than Gempesaw.

Mullin did not report to Anton Goff, Cragg's predecessor, who resigned in June 2018.

People aware of the situation were expecting Mullin to stay until Abdelmassih left to join Fred Hoiberg, now head coach of Nebraska. Abdelmassih was previously part of the Hoiberg staff in Iowa before Hoiberg moved to the NBA to coach Chicago.

Several names were discussed for a replacement, and one source said that one of them was Andy Borman, executive director of the New York Renaissance, who has a basketball team. We did not know if Cragg was pushing Borman, a Duke graduate. Mullin made it clear that he wanted someone with the major division I know to fill the slot of Abdelmassih.

The situation reached a critical mass early Saturday to the point where Cragg found it necessary to issue a statement reaffirming the school's commitment to Mullin. But Mullin was not included in the statement, nor did Cragg explain it at the New York Post's request.

So the rumors are not muffled and CBSSports.com announced shortly before the Texas Tech-Virginia NCAA championship game that Mullin was going to retire. This has not yet been formalized by the school, but the rupture between Mullin and his superiors seems to have led this story to a very different end from that imagined by Gempesaw four years ago.

St. John's was 21-12 last season, but only 8-10 in the Big East, and 20-58 in conference play during Mullin's four seasons.

According to a strange source, Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley is the main target of St. John's. Hurley's Sun Devils eliminated St. John's from NCAAs. Hurley, of course, was a college star at Duke, while Cragg was already a director. If he is hired, this would be just another proof of the identity of the one who gives the go-ahead to St. John's.


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