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Seton Hall hires former player, Saint Peter’s coach Shaheen Holloway

Holloway is returning home.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament East Regional-St. Peters Peacocks vs North Carolina Tar Heels Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Seton Hall didn’t have to look far for its next head coach.

Former standout player and Saint Peter’s coach Shaheen Holloway was announced as the Pirates’ new coach on Wednesday night.

“Life has a way of coming full circle,” Holloway said. “This is certainly a full circle moment for my family and I. Seton Hall is near and dear to my heart. It’s where I became a man, where I met the love of my life, where I spent countless hours honing my crafts as a basketball player and a basketball coach. To say that I’m excited to get started as the head men’s basketball coach at Seton Hall University, would be an understatement.”

All signs and rumors of Kevin Willard’s successor pointed towards Holloway, who played for Seton Hall from 1996-2000, then eventually found his way back there as an assistant under Willard from 2010-18.

While Holloway has emerged as a rising star over the last month for guiding Saint Peter’s to a MAAC Tournament title — instead of heavy favorite Iona — then proceeding with a historic run to the Elite Eight as a Cinderella darling, he was also a solid player in his own right.

He was a former McDonald’s All-American and won the McDonald’s All-American Game MVP honors in 1996, beating out the legendary Kobe Bryant, among others. At Seton Hall, he was a three-time All-Big East player, made the 1997 Big East All-Rookie team, and he was named the Big East Most Improved Player in 2000.

Holloway holds the program record for assists, racking up 682 of them throughout his four years there, and he was also inducted to the Seton Hall athletics hall of fame in 2012.

Holloway spent four years as the Peacocks’ head coach, his first head coaching gig, after previously serving as an assistant at Iona and Seton Hall. Saint Peter’s finished 10-22 in his first season, 2018-19, but vastly improved over the next three seasons after that — finishing above-.500 in three straight years for the first time since 2003-06.

Holloway went a combined 64-57 at Saint Peter’s. He was named the MAAC Coach of the Year in the COVID-shortened 2020 season. This season, his Peacocks became the first MAAC team to ever reach the Sweet 16, and the first No. 15 seed to advance to the Elite Eight in NCAA Tournament history.

There will be an introductory press conference for Holloway on Thursday afternoon, at 1:30 p.m. ET.

“I am incredibly excited to welcome Shaheen Holloway and his family home to Seton Hall,” Seton Hall athletic director Bryan Felt said. “Shaheen is a winner in every sense of the word, and he is not only an incredible coach, but also an incredible educator of young men. He works tirelessly to put his student-athletes in a position to succeed, and he makes them believe that they can achieve anything with hard work and determination. That is evidenced by his historic NCAA Tournament run this month.

“Shaheen made an unforgettable impact here at Seton Hall, first as a student-athlete, and then again as an assistant coach, and now we’re ready to watch him take over our men’s basketball program as head coach and lead our Pirates to further greatness.”