Shaheen Holloway leaves Saint Peter’s for Seton Hall after magical March Madness run

Shaheen Holloway couldn’t have scripted a greater March: MAAC title. Elite Eight. New job in a high-profile convention.

One of the massive stars of March Madness goes house, returning to his roots at Seton Hall as its subsequent head coach. As anticipated after weeks of rumors, the Big East faculty made it official Wednesday, asserting it had employed Holloway to interchange Kevin Willard as its head coach.

The 45-year-old Holloway returns to South Orange, N.J. — the place he was a star participant and profitable assistant coach — after main Saint Peter’s to a magical run to the Elite Eight and guiding the MAAC faculty to the primary three NCAA Tournament wins in program historical past. Holloway broke the information to the Saint Peter’s gamers Wednesday afternoon, hours earlier than the information turned official. A press convention that will likely be open to the general public will likely be held at 1:30 p.m. Thursday on campus at Walsh Gymnasium.

Once phrase unfold that Willard was headed to Maryland, it turned clear Holloway was the apparent successor. Willard campaigned for Holloway — moments after the Pirates’ NCAA Tournament loss to TCU — and former Seton Hall star Isaiah Whitehead did as properly.

“Life has a way of coming full circle,” Holloway stated in an announcement. “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.”

Holloway is getting a major increase, believed to be within the ballpark of what Willard earned final yr, a base wage of $2.4 million per yr, over six years. According to sources, he just lately took a pay minimize at Saint Peter’s, as a result of monetary constraints introduced on by the COVID-19 pandemic, and that got here after he was making roughly $300,000 per season.

Shaheen Holloway Seton Hall
Shaheen Holloway as a Seton Hall assistant coach in 2017.
Getty Images

The faculty didn’t speak to another candidates within the 9 days between Willard taking the Maryland job and hiring Holloway, a well-liked determine in New York City and New Jersey recruiting circles.

“I think it would’ve been a good hire four weeks ago,” stated former Seton Hall coach P.J. Carlesimo, who has recognized Holloway courting again to his days as a prime highschool prospect. “The whole country the last few weeks saw how special he is.”

The make-up of Holloway’s teaching workers is unsure in the meanwhile. He might hold Seton Hall assistant Grant Billmeier, if Billmeier doesn’t comply with Willard to Maryland. Billmeier can be anticipated to be a candidate at Saint Peter’s, as will Holloway’s prime assistant there, Ryan Whalen.

Rutgers assistant coach Brandin Knight, who additionally will likely be within the combine at Saint Peter’s, is Holloway’s cousin and will be a part of him at Seton Hall. Another Saint Peter’s assistant, Rasheen Davis, will even be within the combine to affix Holloway’s workers.

Holloway should work quick to formulate a group able to returning to the NCAA Tournament. Key contributors Myles Cale, Ike Obiagu, and Bryce Aiken are out of eligibility. Star senior Jared Rhoden has another yr left, if he might be satisfied to return. Holloway was his lead recruiter popping out of highschool.

Shaheen Holloway Seton Hall
Shaheen Holloway enjoying for Seton Hall in 2000.
Getty Images

Needing to be round to handle his daughter, Shatanik, Holloway acquired into teaching after a seven-year skilled profession largely spent abroad. He began at the highschool stage, serving as an assistant coach at Bloomfield Tech after which took a job as an administrative assistant at Seton Hall beneath Bobby Gonzalez.

“It’s important to learn from the bottom up,” Holloway stated just lately. “You appreciate it more. You learn every aspect of the job.”

His break got here after one season in his first go-round at Seton Hall. Willard, then the brand new Iona College coach, was trying for an assistant coach with native connections. He spent the day with Holloway and was satisfied he was the best match due to how usually he talked about working laborious, first as a participant and now as a coach.

“That’s what sold me more about ‘Sha’ than anything,” Willard stated.

Together, they rebuilt Iona and three years later went to Seton Hall. Holloway was by Willard’s facet for eight years at his alma mater, and helped make the Pirates matter once more. Holloway performed a major function within the growth of a number of under-the-radar recruits into Big East stars, gamers like Khadeen Carrington, Desi Rodriguez, Myles Powell and Sandro Mamukelashvili.

He introduced that means to do extra with much less to Saint Peter’s, molding a group of unheralded and unrecruited prospects into an Elite Eight group. He led the Peacocks to 3 straight profitable seasons, the primary time the varsity was capable of say that since 2004-06.

Now he’s headed again house to Seton Hall, the place he received as a participant and an assistant coach. Willard made the Pirates nationally related, reaching 5 of the final six NCAA Tournaments. Holloway’s job is to proceed Seton Hall on that path — and take this system deeper into March.

“They’re about as fortunate as fortunate can be,” Carlesimo stated.

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