Queens, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Hall of Famer Chris Mullin is returning to St. John's as the head men's basketball coach 30 years after leading the Red Storm to the Final Four.
The university announced Tuesday that it hired Mullin, one of the program's all-time greats, to replace Steve Lavin, who parted ways with the school on Friday after five years.
Mullin returns to the Red Storm after spending the last two seasons as an advisor with the Sacramento Kings. He also served as vice president of basketball operations for the Golden State Warriors, his old NBA team, from 2004-09.
The 51-year-old Brooklyn native has never coached at any level but remains a legendary figure at St. John's, which he led to four consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances under Hall of Fame coach Lou Carnesecca between 1982-85.
Mullin won three Big East Player of the Year awards as a St. John's forward and still holds the school's all-time scoring record with 2,440 points.
He went on to have an illustrious 16-year career in the NBA, during which he was named to five All-Star teams and won a gold medal at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics as a member of the famed "Dream Team."
Mullin called it a "surreal experience" returning to St. John's as its coach.
"This is a role I have been preparing for all of my life," he said in a statement issued by the school.
Mullin will be formally introduced at a news conference Wednesday afternoon.
He replaces Lavin, who led St. John's to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances in his five years. The Red Storm were 92-72 while Lavin was their coach.
They reached the Final Four during Mullin's senior season in 1985, but have made the Sweet 16 only twice since and haven't won an NCAA Tournament game since 1999.
The Red Storm lost to San Diego State in this year's NCAA Tournament opener, concluding an up-and-down season in which they finished 21-12.
Mullin's first order of business may be attempting to convince starters Rysheed Jordan and Chris Opekba to remain in school rather than declare for the NBA Draft.
St. John's loses four key seniors in 2,000-point scorer D'Angelo Harrison, Sir'Dominic Pointer, Phil Greene IV and Jamal Branch.