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Next for Iowa men’s basketball is Seton Hall, which almost hired Fran McCaffery
Hawkeyes coach was in discussion with Seton Hall in 2010 when Iowa jumped ahead and hired him
In late March of 2010, Fran McCaffery had just coached the Siena University men’s basketball team to a third straight NCAA tournament and second consecutive 27-win season.
The iron was hot for him, professionally, and Seton Hall University of the Big East Conference was interested in hiring him for their openings. Pat Hobbs, now Rutgers’ athletics director, was the interim AD at Seton Hall at the time and established a relationship with McCaffery.
“We had some preliminary discussion,” McCaffery said Monday. “We were going to continue that discussion. I was going through the interview process at Iowa. Mr. (Iowa AD Gary) Barta called and offered the position. We were getting ready to head down to Seton Hall to further discussion. I accepted the Iowa position.”
Twelve years later, McCaffery’s Hawkeyes (2-0) will play Seton Hall (2-0) on Wednesday in Newark, N.J., in the Gavitt Tipoff Games, a series of eight contests between Big East and Big Ten teams this week. This game is at 6:30 p.m. (CT) on FS1.
Seton Hall hired Kevin Willard in 2010. He had that job until last spring when he filled the opening at Maryland. The Pirates replaced Willard with former Seton Hall player Shaheen Holloway, who had been at Saint Peter’s.
Holloway was the toast of college basketball last March when his Peacocks from the Jersey City university of just 2,637 students was the first No. 15-seed to advance to the NCAA tournament’s Elite Eight.
Saint Peters capped its three-win run in the tourney with a 67-64 win over No. 3-seed Purdue. The Peacocks stunned No. 2-seed Kentucky in the first round, and followed that with a victory over No. 7-seed Murray State.
“He wasn’t good, he was great,” McCaffery said about Holloway. “The job he did at Saint Peter’s was absolutely spectacular, as we all know. Not an easy job, and he did amazing things.”
McCaffery knows the Saint Peter’s situation well, since it and Siena are members of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. Former Iowa walk-on Michael Baer is averaging 6.5 points and 8.5 rebounds for Siena this season.
Saturday, Holloway’s first Seton Hall team defeated Saint Peter’s, 80-44.
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