|Chris Mullin. Photo by Jason Schott.|
St. John’s Director of Athletics Mike Cragg announced on Tuesday afternoon that Chris Mullin has stepped down from his position as head coach after four seasons leading the St. John’s men’s basketball program. A national search for his successor begins immediately.
Mullin goes out on a high as he led St. John's to the NCAA Tournament this season. They went 21-13 and earned an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. They lost to Arizona State in the First Four in Dayton, Ohio. The Red Storm’s 21 victories matched the most for the program in nearly two decades.
Mullin released the following statement through St. John's, and he touches on the loss of his brother in early March:
“The past four years at St. John’s University have been one of the most thrilling and challenging points of my career. Today, I have chosen to ask President Gempesaw and the University to accept my decision to step down from coaching the St. John’s men’s basketball team.
“This has been an extremely emotional decision, but after a recent personal loss, I took time to reflect upon my true values and believe this is the right time to make a change. I am extremely grateful to the administration, which has supported me and our basketball program on every level. I’ve been amazed by our coaches, trainers, managers and staff who work relentless hours, which enables this team to grow and thrive. I’ve been honored to coach the young men who are the heart and soul of this program. It’s a job I will always cherish.
“I am proud of our accomplishments. NCAA Tournament Selection Sunday will be a lifetime memory. I am forever grateful to St. John’s for giving me the opportunity to hear Carnesecca Arena and Madison Square Garden roar again for college basketball and especially for our players.
“I will always support St. John’s University in keeping our basketball tradition alive!”
Cragg said in a statement, “We thank Coach Mullin for all of his contributions to our men’s basketball program. St. John’s basketball progressed well during his tenure, culminating with a trip to the NCAA Tournament this past season. Coach Mullin has a deep passion for this program and he has been committed to helping our student-athletes achieve their goals on and off the court, so I know this was not an easy decision. We wish him and his family nothing but the best as he begins this new chapter of his life.”
Conrado “Bobby” Gempesaw, Ph.D., President, St. John’s University, said, “We are proud to celebrate the accomplishments of our student-athletes over the past four seasons under Coach Mullin. The University community has grown closer, there has been excitement throughout campus, and an increase in school spirit and game attendance both at Carnesecca Arena and Madison Square Garden. We thank Chris for his service to our University and wish him and his family the best.”