Willard gives SHU hope
For most of my time here at Seton Hall, there was never much to look forward to. Then March 17, 2010, happened. A day after the Seton Hall Pirates lost in the NIT to Texas Tech, Bobby Gonzalez was fired from his position as head men’s basketball coach.
Fast forward to today, with Kevin Willard as head coach. There has not been a moment that I thought this program would be better off in someone else’s hands.
Several times this year and last, I took phone calls on WSOU’s postgame call-in show “Hall Line” from upset fans calling for Willard to be fired and that he doesn’t have what it takes to coach in the Big East.
However, not many people know the real Kevin Willard. The average fan sees what happens on the floor and nothing else. They don’t see what happens in the locker room, the practice court and the press room.
While there are plenty of hysterical moments when Willard gets behind a microphone (see last week’s Top 5 Willard quotes), it is very clear that Willard cares more about his team and his players than he does his own success.
A true leader is one that passes off praise during the good times, and takes the blame during the bad times.
There were plenty of bad times in Willard’s first month on the job. Most notably, Willard was fresh on the job for Herb Pope’s near death experience during a training session at Walsh Gym. Since that time, Willard has taken the problems that Seton Hall fans have regretted, and given them a million other things to look at and be proud of: top recruits giving the Hall verbal agreements and an NIT win.
That’s all after only being at Seton Hall for two years. Imagine what the next two years will be like at Seton Hall. As the song goes, “The best has yet to come.”
Tim LeCras is a senior journalism major from Forked River, N.J. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.