The NCAA Tournament is over and the offseason coaching carousal is turning. One of the recent surprising changes on the mid major coaching scene has been Marist stealing conference rival St. Peter’s head coach John Dunne.
One may consider this a lateral move, since Dunne is leaving one MAAC school only to coach at another. However, Marist probably has more to offer than St. Peter’s.
While it was a surprise when this news broke, one cannot be too surprised that Dunne has finally moved on from St. Peters. Dunne spent 12 years at St. Peter’s, going 153-225 in that time with an NCAA Tournament appearance and CIT title. Before judging this record, it is important to consider the context of the situation.
St. Peter’s has the reputation of being one of the most challenging Division I coaching jobs in the nation. For one thing, the school is located in Jersey City. It plays in what looks like a large high school gym. Throw in that the school’s undergraduate population is roughly 2,700, with only 30 percent of the students living on campus, this is not the stereotypical Division I experience.
Factoring all of that in, and how it took Dunne a few years to build a team that could win, and he probably led the program to as good as it could be while he was there.
What happens to St. Peter’s?
It is believed that Dunne was making about $230,000 at St. Peter’s. That means the Peacocks certainly won’t be able to hire anyone who is in high demand, but options still exist. Two individuals who are familiar with MAAC hoops, NY Buckets’ John Templon and Twitter’s resident MAAC enthusiast Marc Gump helped me compile this list of potential candidates.
Shaeen Holloway: The 41-year-old is Seton Hall’s associate head coach and he may be the leading candidate for this position. Holloway has been a huge part of Seton Hall’s resurgence over the past few years through his ability to develop point guards and recruit. Holloway already has ties to the NJ/NYC recruiting area and has been able to get guys to Seton Hall. That can go a long way for St. Peter’s, even if he won’t be able to bring in the same level of talent. It is also important to note that St. Peter’s’ new athletic director, Bryan Felt, has known Holloway for a long time. Felt was previously the senior associate athletic director at Seton Hall.
Jay Young: The Rutgers assistant coach brings similar energy to Dunne. And like Dunne, Young focuses greatly on the defensive end and it has reflected in Rutgers’ successful defense. Young would potentially be a good fit for this program.
Matt Henry: Henry is a current St. Peter’s assistant who has been with the program for five years. This would be a hire to retain some level of stability.
A few more candidates...
Templon: “I wonder if there are any NEC coaches that might be interested. For instance, I actually think Wagner head coach Bashir Mason would be great at that job.”
Gump: “I would throw [former Eastern Kentucky coach] Dan McHale and [former FIU coach] Anthony Evans in there as well.”