Who is the new coach of the Saint Peter’s Peacocks?
The NCAA’s suddenly famous Cinderella team, the Saint Peter’s Peacocks, are set to hire Wagner College’s Bashir Mason as its next head coach.
The Saint Peter’s Peacocks, the Cinderella team that shot to fame in the recent NCAA Tournament and caught the imagination of college basketball fans, are hiring Wagner College’s Bashir Mason as its new head coach.
Mason will be replacing Shaheen Holloway, who led the Peacocks on a remarkable run that brought them straight to the Elite Eight, and made them the first team to ever achieve the feat in NCAA history. Holloway will be heading back his alma mater, Seton Hall, to coach the Pirates.
Homecoming for the new coach
Mason is native of Jersey City, where Saint Peter’s University is located, so his new job will be a homecoming of sorts.
He is expected to be getting a substantial salary increase compared to what he was receiving as Seahawks coach. He is also likely to receive more resources and staff support for the Saint Peter’s basketball program.
The hiring of an established coach indicates that the school wants to build on the momentum that had gathered after Saint Peter’s surprising showing in March Madness, and that it is committed to maintaining the basketball program’s competitiveness.
Mason’s solid track record
38-year-old Mason became the head coach of Wagner in 2012, and at that point became the youngest coach in the NCAA. He had a 165-130 record in his time with Wagner, leading the team to three regular season Northeast Conference championships, in 2016, 2018, and 2021, and winning the Jim Phelan Coach of the Year for those seasons.
However, he has yet to bring a team to an NCAA tournament.
Mason will have his work cut out for him- he will be facing the challenge of rebuilding the team, as five of the Peacocks’ best players have entered the NCAA transfer portal, including Daryl Banks and Matthew Lee who were starters for the team. Banks was Saint Peter’s top scorer the past season, with an average of 11.3 points per game.