As a colleague of mine recently pointed out, the Seton Hall Pirates have not gone dancing since 2006. While that might not be earth-shattering news to those who care more about the more well-known names in the Big East Conference, it is likely something that gets brought up in the Kevin Willard household. As in, “Dad, are you going to get canned soon” or “Am I in jeopardy of having to make new friends, again” type of talks.
This is not a Willard problem alone, although, he will inevitably be the person who takes all the blame. In Willard’s three full seasons with the Pirates, he has amassed an underwhelming 49-48 overall record as well as an atrocious 18-36 record in Big East play. Those numbers would suggest that Willard’s run with the team has been less than awesome and that the seat on which he sits on may be getting a bit warmer.
To be fair, in his second season as the main man in charge, Willard did lead the Pirates to a 20-win season as well as a trip to the postseason — albeit the NIT. What may prove to be more troubling than Willard’s lackluster run with Seton Hall is his not so swell track record of his previous coaching stint. Blame Willard all you want, but the Pirates were the university who hired a guy whose previous head coaching position saw him go four games under .500.
All of this really comes down to how much patience and confidence the school has in Willard. They clearly saw something in a coach who only managed to go 27-27 in MAAC play before they hired him. If they were to pull the trigger after just a few years, it would be the athletic department’s way of admitting they are inept at their job — which would be like a foot-doctor admitting he hates feet.
I do not know how loud the rumblings — if there are any — are surrounding Willard. However, if the Pirates fanbase wants a winning basketball program there is very little in Willard’s resume to say he will eventually be the one to bring it.
Joe is a Senior Writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JosephNardone