Big East coaches excited about Chris Mullin’s return

Chris Mullin rejoins the Big East this season as a first-year head coach.
Brad Penner/Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK – A conference without football means the basketball coaches are the stars.

This spring, the Big East added the league’s most notable coach, even though he’s never been one before.

Twenty years after leading St. John’s to the 1985 Final Four, Chris Mullin returns to his alma mater as the program’s new head coach. Fellow Big East coaches are excited about what Mullin’s homecoming means for a league moving forward.

“Having him back in this conference is unique. It’s great,” Thompson said, via Gene Wang of the Washington Post. “When you talk about the Big East, when you think about the Big East, a lot of those memories float back to Chris Mullin, Patrick Ewing and those guys, so to have him here sitting at the helm of St. John’s is not only good for them but good for the league.”

Mullin, the only three-time Big East Player of the Year, was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a player in 2011. Since his playing days, he’s served in several different front office roles, most recently as a special advisor for the Sacramento Kings.

“He brings instant credibility and respect to the job,” Wright told reporters at Big East Media Day on Wednesday. “When someone like that, who has a lot of options in his career, chooses to come back to the Big East, it shows everybody how great a league this is and how great a head coaching job St. John’s is.”

While opposing coaches are happy to have Mullin back, they didn’t think too highly of his team in the preseason coaches’ poll, picking the Red Storm to finish last. Mullin inherited a team that lost its entire rotation from a season ago, but Mullin and his staff had made strides on the recruiting trial, adding several impact graduate transfers and landing a pair of four-star recruits for his current freshmen class.

Mullin’s head coaching career begins on Nov. 13 against Wagner at Carnesecca Arena.