Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Shaheen Holloway named head coach at Saint Peter's

Shaheen Holloway (third from left, between Angel Delgado and Kevin Willard) is leaving Seton Hall to begin head coaching career, having accepted vacant position at Saint Peter's. (Photo by Bob Dea/Daly Dose Of Hoops)

In recent seasons, Shaheen Holloway's star blossomed as a potential head coach just as it had two decades prior as a point guard at Seton Hall. It was not necessarily a matter of if the former Pirate and current associate head coach would get a chance to lead a program of his own, but rather one of just when such an opportunity would come.

Tuesday evening provided the first answer.

Holloway has accepted the vacant head coaching position at Saint Peter's, replacing a fellow former Seton Hall assistant in John Dunne, who left Jersey City exactly one week ago and was introduced this past Thursday as the new head coach at Marist. A press conference to introduce the Peacocks' new leader is slated to be held Thursday at noon, per sources.

Saint Peter's did not need to look very far in their addition of Holloway, who at 41 years of age, becomes the third-youngest head coach in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, with only Manhattan's Steve Masiello and Quinnipiac's Baker Dunleavy his juniors. The Seton Hall legend and Pirate Hall of Famer is also the latest branch of Kevin Willard's coaching tree, having spent the past eleven years on his staffs, both in South Orange and also at Iona for Willard's three-year tenure there before returning to his alma mater in 2010.

Known as a stellar recruiter and developer of the next generation of guards, Holloway comes to Jersey City having tutored a pair of floor generals who have gone on to ply their wares in the NBA, working with Scott Machado for two years at Iona and then helping to turn Isaiah Whitehead into a professional at the highest level. Holloway's latest success story saw Khadeen Carrington make a seamless transition from playing off the ball to running the Seton Hall offense this past season, a move that paid off in the form of the Pirates' first NCAA Tournament win since 2004. Both Whitehead and Carrington took to social media in the wake of the New York Times' Adam Zagoria breaking news of the hire to laud Saint Peter's and athletic director Bryan Felt -- who, like Holloway, worked at Seton Hall before taking over the department last September -- for making what appears to be a shrewd and inspired choice. Several others connected to the Seton Hall community did the same.

Saint Peter's loses seniors Nick Griffin and Nnamdi Enechionyia from a roster that reached the semifinals of the MAAC Tournament last March, but will return three starters to a team expected to be picked near the middle of the conference next season. Guards Davauhnte Turner and Elijah Gonzales, the latter a 5-foot-9 dynamo whose speed and hustle earned him the starting point guard spot midway through the year, are prime candidates to become Holloway's latest projects for the Peacocks, who return five of their top six scorers.

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