Willard named new Iona hoops coach
New Rochelle, NY (Sports Network) – Iona College has named Kevin Willard its
new men’s basketball coach.
Willard, who just turned 32 years old last week, spent the past six seasons as
an assistant at Louisville. This will be the first career head coaching
position for Willard, the son of current Holy Cross coach Ralph Willard.
“This program will be built on a simple foundation of hard work,” said the
younger Willard. “I’ve learned from probably one or two of the best in the
business: my father, who been a college coach for 15 years and a high school
coach for I shouldn’t say how long — probably would embarrass him — and Rick
Pitino, who has been at the highest level of college basketball for the last
The Gaels needed a new coach after Jeff Ruland was bought out of the final two
years of his contract.
Ruland spent nine years at the helm of his alma mater, leading the Gaels to
three Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference titles and three NCAA Tournament
appearances. He finished his tenure with a record of 139-135 after the team
struggled to a dismal 2-28 mark this past season.
The Gaels, on the heels of an NCAA appearance last year, lost their first 22
games of the season before finally beating Rider on February 3. Their only
other win came against Delaware two weeks later.