JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- Shaheen Holloway of Saint Peter's might be one of the hottest coaching commodities in college basketball.
Even before the 15th-seeded Peacocks (21-11) became the Cinderella story of the NCAA Tournament with shocking wins over No. 2 seed Kentucky and No. 7 seed Murray State, Holloway was rumored to be the top contender for the vacant Massachusetts job.
Then last week, Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard said that Holloway, a former Pirates player and assistant, should get his job if it opened. Willard was hired by Maryland on Monday.
Holloway was asked about the job the rumors and the accompanying distractions on Tuesday as his Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference championship team practice for Friday night's Sweet 16 game in Philadelphia against No. 3 seed Purdue (29-7).
“I'm not worried about that,” he said. "I worry about the job I have right now. I worry about the team I have right now. I worry about what we doing right now. That’s the only thing that is important.
“Everything else, it’s just hoopla,” he added. “I don’t get to rumors and that type of stuff. I focus on the mission in front of me right now and what’s in front of me is trying to help these gentlemen accomplish their goals and dreams.”
Holloway is in his fourth season at the tiny Jesuit school that has an undergraduate enrollment of 2,134 students. Despite a 10-22 record his first season, he is 63-56 overall.
The university has not disclosed what Holloway is making but it is reportedly $300,000 per year. Coaches at major schools make millions. Willard will get $3.9 million in his first season with the Terps.
Saint Peter's President Eugene Cornacchia said Monday he has not spoken to Holloway about the rumors and he will not until the tournament is over.
“He knows how, how important he is to us and how valuable he is to us,” Cornacchia said in an interview with The Associated Press. “But I’m also a realist, and I understand that he’s going to have to fend a lot of offers from a lot of places, not even just Seton Hall. He’s a rock star right now. And after the next game, when we beat Purdue, he’s going to be a bigger rock star.”
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