QUOTES: Chris Mullin Introduced As 20th Head Coach In Program History

Chris Mullin was named the 20th head coach in program history on Wednesday, April 1, 2015.
April 1, 2015

Dr. Conrado "Bobby" Gempesaw, Ph.D., President, St. John's University
Opening Statement:
"Today we are very pleased to welcome back Chris Mullin to St. John's. I am certain that Chris will be an aspiring coach for basketball players and a great ambassador for St. John's University. His commitment and passion for the game, along with his love for the University, is a winning combination that will strengthen our basketball program and support our efforts to ensure student success in athletics and academics."

On Chris Mullin as a head coach:
"Lou Carnesecca said it best when he advised Chris [Mullin] that being the coach of St. John's is no longer a job, it is a vocation. I knew that Chris would understand this because 30 years ago, Chris was a `coach' [on the court] who cared for his players and transformed their lives, including his own."

Chris Monasch, Director of Athletics
On Chris Mullin:
"Today, we are proud to welcome home a true St. John's and New York City sports icon. Three decades ago Chris Mullin led a resurgence of St. John's basketball and since then we have admired his accomplishments in the professional ranks as a player and executive. As we embark on this next chapter of our storied history, it is with great pride and excitement one of our most revered student-athletes returns to take the reins of a program he once vaulted into the national spotlight."

Lou Carnesecca, Former St. John's Head Coach (1965-70; 1973-92) and 1992 Naismith Hall of Fame Inductee
On Chris Mullin as a head coach:
"It's a glorious day. I can't tell you how I feel about it, but I think everyone on the East Coast feels the same way, and maybe even around the country. I don't have to talk about what he has done, but there is one thing I want to say. I know he will make us proud."

On Chris Mullin returning to Queens:
"It's great to have Chris back at St. John's! The entire SJU family is rejuvenated as well as the New York basketball community. We wish Chris `BUONA FORTUNA'."

Head Coach Chris Mullin
Opening statement:
"It's great to be home. It's a surreal moment, it really is. St. John's University has meant so much to me and my family and when that opportunity was presented to me, I couldn't turn it down. I feel obligated to give back and I'm going to be the best basketball coach I can be."

On his goal as a head coach:
"My goal is to be a mentor and a role model to my players. I met with some of the guys in the locker room and told them my expectations. St. John's University has tremendous history and tradition. It's not a jersey that gets handed to anybody, you have to earn it."

On the influence of Lou Carnesecca:
"Coach [Lou] Carnesecca was my college coach. I met him when I was 11 years old. There isn't a day that goes by where one of the lessons he taught me doesn't come up in my head. I always reflect back on my days at St. John's. A lot of times, the way Coach [Carnesecca] handled losses stuck out to me more than the way he handled his wins. He taught me so much on how to conduct yourself as a professional. My job now is to pass it on to my players so they can pass it on to someone else."

On making his return to Queens:
"It's only been 30 years, but really I never left. My relationship with the program remains strong no matter where I am or where I go. I've learned a lot of lessons here and most of them I learned on campus, right here in this gym."

On recruiting around New York:
"The history here at St. John's has always been strong in New York City and I guarantee you that you'll see me in the gyms all around New York City. You don't have to tell me where they are because I've played in all of them. I think it's very important that we dominate New York."

On playing in New York City:
"St. John's needs to be first and foremost a New York City team. We want to make our campus proud, our alumni proud and the whole city of New York proud of St. John's University."

On being called Coach:
"In my phone I have a lot of numbers of coaches, but there is only one number that says `Coach' and that's Lou Carnesecca. Everyone else has a `coach' and their name, but he just has `Coach.' To me, there is only one coach and that is Coach Carnesecca. It's going to be weird being called `Coach Mullin,' but I'll get used to it."

On getting the program back to consecutive NCAA Tournaments:
"We are going to get this program back to those days and have it consistent. It's going to be a process. It's not going to happen overnight. It's going to take patience and a lot of hard work. I want to get it to where Coach [Carnesecca] had it and then hand it off to someone else so we have consistency."

Tarik Turner, Master of Ceremonies and former St. John's basketball player (1994-98)
Opening Statement:
"This day for me is more than full circle. I came to St. John's for a couple of reasons and one of the biggest was Chris Mullin, along with Coach Carnesecca. This is a special day for everyone. It's not about me or anyone else. It's about `Mully,' Coach Mullin."

Jack Kaiser, Athletic Director Emeritus
On the hiring of Chris Mullin:
"I am delighted with the hiring of Chris as our men's basketball coach. As an individual, he embodies all that we admire and love. We have great faith in his basketball coaching abilities and we welcome him back home to St. John's."

Joe Tartamella, Head Women's Basketball Coach
On the hiring of Chris Mullin:
"Nobody embodies the fabric of what St. John's is more than Chris Mullin. The footprint he has left on our University is unparalleled and we all look forward to him leading our men's program into the future."

Walter Berry, 1986 National Player of the Year
On the hiring of Chris Mullin:
"It's great to have Chris Mullin back here as a coach. It's a special day today that this all happened and it's been a long time coming that this day is here now."

Felipe Lopez, fourth-leading scorer in school history (1,927) and 1998 Haggerty Award Winner
On the hiring of Chris Mullin:
"The prodigal son is coming back home. We're all excited because we know what Chris is going to be able to bring. For me, he helped me a lot to get where I'm at just by the example that he was able to set. He's just an example of what it is for guys to be able to come from this school that have really laid the platform for so many players and really make it to the top."

Ron Rutledge, Assistant Coach to Lou Carnesecca
On the hiring of Chris Mullin:
"You always can come back home and to have one of the favorite sons come back, it gives us that good old feeling that one of ours is here to lead us, take us forward. Chris has a Ph.D. in basketball. So all the questions about how he's never coached before, he knows more about basketball than anybody; maybe Coach Carnesecca might have him beat. He's a smart player, smart person. You're not going to outwork him and he's got the love for the game, the love for this university and the love for this city and he's going to make us all proud."

Bill Wennington, Mullin's teammate from 1981-85 and a three-time NBA Champion
On the hiring of Chris Mullin:
"I think it's outstanding that St. John's is going in this direction right now. Chris is a mega figure in the New York area, especially at St. John's. For him, it's a great opportunity. It's a chance for him to go back home where he's very familiar with the landscape and understands the vibe of New York City. To have Chris, the player that he was, come back is definitely going to pump up the atmosphere of the program. I'm really excited for him and St. John's."

Frank Alagia, St. John's point guard, 1972-76, fourth on the all-time assists list
On the hiring of Chris Mullin:
"I wish Chris all the best and I am very happy to see him back."

Anthony Mason Jr., St. Johns guard/forward from 2005-10 and a 1,000 point scorer
On the hiring of Chris Mullin:
"We're ecstatic to have Chris Mullin back. It's about getting us over that hump, and I think he will, because Mullin brings back tradition, brings back family, brings back that love for basketball, love for Queens, love for St. John's. All that is needed. And all his brothers, like Walter Berry, all the older players are going to be around a lot more, so I think that's good for St. John's as a whole."

Malik Boothe, St. John's guard, 2007-11, sixth on the all-time assists list
On the hiring of Chris Mullin:
"I'm definitely happy to have [Coach Mullin] back home. Hopefully he can continue the success that we've shown and get the program to the next level."




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