One of the biggest questions surrounding the search for a new Athletic Director was how well he will be able to work with first year men's basketball coach Kevin Willard. With the appointment of Patrick Lyons as Seton Hall's new Athletic Director, there will be no conflict between the two.
The pair are both from Iona College and are roughly the same age,Willard is 35 and Lyons is 38. Lyons hired Willard as the basketball coach at Iona in 2007.
At Seton Hall they will once again hold the same positions they did at Iona with success.
Another advantage of the hiring is that Lyons is coming from a private school. He is well known at Iona for the fundraising he has done there. Lyons started the first capital fundraising effort in the history of the Athletic Department at Iona. The fund he created was a big part of the numerous upgrades of Iona's athletic facilities for both student athletes and regular students alike.
There is no saying of how well Lyons will get along with the other coaches on campus, but there is no doubt that men's basketball will be his number one priority. A bad relationship between Willard and the new athletic director would mean the school would just lose more money and set the basketball program back further, but, with Lyons coming in, their relationship will just help the program continue to move forward.
With the hiring of Willard last year and Lyons this year, the University is taking a chance with two of the biggest positions in the Hall's athletic department by selecting young and relatively unproven men. However, if both turn out to be a successful at Seton Hall, there will be a solid stability around the athletic department for years to come.
Stephen Valenti is a sophomore journalism major from Lansdale, Pa. He can be reached at email@example.com