Steve Lavin is officially out as head coach of St. John's.
St. John's Director of Athletics Chris Monasch announced that the University and Lavin have mutually agreed to part ways after five seasons. A national search for Lavin's successor has begun.
The school released a press conference this afternoon:
"Coach Lavin returned high expectations to our men's basketball program and represented St. John's in a positive way," said Monasch. "We appreciate his commitment to the program and to our student-athletes over the past five years. Our student-athletes represented the University well, especially our five-member senior class who excelled on the court, inside the classroom and within the community."
"I enjoyed celebrating our student-athletes' accomplishments in my first year at St. John's," said Conrado "Bobby" Gempesaw, Ph.D., President, St. John's University. "We look forward to building on this foundation as we strive to continue the tradition of success that the St. John's basketball program has achieved for more than 100 years."
He had one year remaining on his six-year deal.
Lavin was named the 19th head men's basketball coach in St. John's history on March 30th, 2010 and guided the Red Storm to a 81-55 record, two NCAA tournaments and two NITs. The Johnnies went 21-12 this year, suffering a second-round loss as a 9-seed in the NCAA tournament. A source told ESPN Lavin was close to finalizing a new deal with the school just days ago, but that doesn't appear to be the case.
A source tells SNY.tv's Adam Zagoria that St. John's legend Chris Mullin is expected to be one of the top candidates to replace Lavin.
"He’s the most famous person in the school history, he’s going to have a decided edge on whatever name comes up," the source said. "Whether he takes it or not, I don’t know. At one point there was mutual interest but that guy’s got a pretty good damn life."
Mullin has experience working in an NBA front office. The Hall of Famer was the Executive Vice President of the Golden State Warriors for five seasons, and has served as an advisor for the Sacramento Kings since 2013. He was linked to the Kings head coaching position back in December, and could be getting that itch to coach after seeing former NBA players like Steve Kerr and Fred Hoiberg succeeding at both the NBA and college levels.
But his lack of coaching experience is sure to draw the ire of some fans.
An on Chris Mullin, is he prepared to go sit on hard chairs and watch kids at Peach Jam for 4 days straight? And spend all of July on road?— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) March 27, 2015
Zagoria reports that Rhode Island coach Dan Hurley is also in the running to inherit the position. Manhattan's Steve Masiello, Iona's Tim Cluess and Minnesota's Richard Pitino are possibilities as well.