Shaheen Holloway exits St. Peter’s Basilica towards Seton Hall | college sports

TOM CANAVAN AP sportswriter

Shaheen Holloway departs Saint Peter’s for Seton Hall just days after helping the tiny Jesuit school make history by becoming the first No. 15 seed to reach the Elite Eight in the NCAA tournament.

Seton Hall’s athletic director Bryan Felt announced the 45-year-old’s hiring early Wednesday night. It really wasn’t a surprise.

Holloway played for the Pirates of the Big East Conference and his move to replace Kevin Willard has been a hot topic since the NCAA tournament’s opening weekend. Willard left for the executive job in Maryland last week.

Holloway, whose Peacocks knocked out the No. 2 in Kentucky. Murray State No. 7 and Purdue No. 3 before falling to North Carolina get a sizeable raise. Willard earned $2.4 million last season, about 10 times what Holloway made at Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference School in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Holloway, whose teams play a hard-nosed game that’s been considered a defense trademark, will be unveiled at a campus news conference Thursday.

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“Life has an opportunity to come full circle,” Holloway said in a statement. “This is certainly a moment to come full circle for my family and I. Seton Hall is dear to my heart; This is where I became a man, this is where I met the love of my life, where I spent countless hours honing my craft as a basketball player and basketball coach. To say I’m looking forward to starting out as the men’s basketball coach at Seton Hall University would be an understatement.”

Holloway led the Peacocks to three consecutive top-three finishes in MAAC, a first for the program since the school’s first three seasons in conference in the early 1980s. They won the MAAC tournament to play their first NCAA tournament since 2011. The program was 64-57 under his leadership, including 22-12 in 2021-22.

Prior to Saint Peter’s, Holloway helped establish a foundation at Seton Hall that transformed it into a program that competes annually for bids for NCAA tournaments and Big East championships. In eight seasons as assistant head coach under Willard from 2010 to 2018, the Pirates enjoyed a variety of accomplishments on and off the court.

Holloway was also on Willard’s staff with Iona, where they turned the Gaels’ program around. They turned a 2-28 team in 2006-07 into a 21-win team in 2009-10.

Holloway was a standout at Seton Hall for four years from 1996-2000 and helped lead the team to the 2000 NCAA Sweet 16. He hit the winning layup in overtime to defeat Oregon in the first round.

The New Yorker holds the Pirate record with 681 career assists and was inducted into the Seton Hall Athletics Hall of Fame in 2012.

Holloway becomes the first Seton Hall graduate to lead the men’s basketball program since 1953 graduate Richie Regan led the Pirates from 1960 to 1970.

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

Willard recommended his successor to Holloway after the Pirates were beaten by TCU in the first round of the NCAA tournament on March 18.

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