Regardless of the emotional pull, Iona’s Tim Cluess has grow to be the third recognized coach to take himself out of the operating for the vacant St. John’s job.
St. John’s has been on the hunt for a brand new coach since Chris Mullin introduced final week that he was stepping down. The varsity’s reported high goal, Arizona State coach Bobby Hurley, mentioned Friday that he was staying with the Solar Devils. Loyola-Chicago’s Porter Moser then rejected a suggestion Tuesday.
Cluess is a New York native who performed for 2 seasons at St. John’s, from 1979 to 1981, and has led Iona to 6 NCAA tournaments in 9 seasons with the Gaels.
“I want to begin by thanking everybody for all their assist,” Cluess mentioned in an announcement launched to ESPN Thursday morning. “I’m really blessed to have so many individuals say so many good issues. I’m nevertheless taking my title out of consideration for the St. John’s job.
“Once I was unexpectedly contacted by them final week it opened up a flood of feelings. For these of you who’ve ever misplaced a liked one that there are particular locations, trinkets and recollections that hold them alive in your coronary heart and soul. St. John’s was a kind of key locations the place my love for household has been part of my life since my earliest recollections.
“In my coronary heart the considered reestablishing the connection to my brothers Kevin and Greg by the attainable alternative to teach at St. John’s and the possibility to assist convey again their wealthy custom within the course of made it laborious to stroll away from. There comes a degree the place the fact of the scenario turns into extra clear and transferring ahead is what is required.
“I really like my gamers at Iona and being a coach there and I’m really blessed to have the ability to do what I really like at a spot I really like. I sit up for persevering with to develop the Iona program to larger ranges.”
Cluess’ brothers, Greg and Kevin, each had very profitable basketball careers at St. John’s, and each died younger. Greg was 26 when he died of lymphoma in 1976, whereas Kevin was 33 when leukemia claimed his life in 1986.
The 60-year-old Cluess is a two-time MAAC coach of the 12 months. Earlier than getting the Iona job, he was at LIU Put up from 2006-10.
The coach who replaces Mullin can have a roster in flux. Main scorer Shamorie Ponds turned professional after the season ended, and Marvin Clark was a senior. The Purple Storm’s high recruit, extremely touted junior school level guard Cam Mack, lately requested his launch from the college, and four-star junior Nate Tabor decommitted within the wake of Mullin’s departure. There aren’t any 2019 or 2020 prospects presently dedicated to St. John’s.
In the meantime, St. John’s redshirt junior Justin Simon has signed with an agent and declared for the NBA draft. Simon was among the best defenders within the nation and would have been a high returnee for the subsequent coach. Moreover, sophomore guards Bryan Trimble Jr. and LJ Figueroa have entered their names into the switch portal.
There’s a stable core on the roster, although. Mustapha Heron (14.6 factors per sport) has eligibility left. Transfers Eli Wright (Mississippi State), David Caraher (Houston Baptist) and Ian Steere (NC State) sat out this previous season.
ESPN’s Jeff Borzello and The Related Press contributed to this report.