Breaking down St. John’s top candidates for new head coach

For the third time in eight years, St. John’s is in search of a new men’s basketball head coach after the university fired Mike Anderson on Friday after four seasons.

The Post breaks down some of the Johnnies’ options: 

Rick Pitino, Iona 

There is mutual interest between the 70-year-old Hall of Famer and St. John’s, as The Post reported on Thursday. A two-time national champion at Kentucky and Louisville who has been to seven Final Fours, Pitino doesn’t have a buyout at Iona.

He has the star appeal and coaching expertise to reinvigorate this dormant program.

Texas Tech is also interested in Pitino, who has said he wants to coach for up to six more years.

The Red Raiders are in search of a coach after Mark Adams’ resignation following his suspension for making racially insensitive remarks. 

Rick Pitino has led Iona to one NCAA Tournament appearance since taking the job in 2020.
Rick Pitino has led Iona to one NCAA Tournament appearance since taking the job in 2020, and has a chance at a second on Saturday.
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Speedy Claxton, Hofstra 

A star in his day at Hofstra who later played parts of seven seasons in the NBA, the 44-year-old Claxton is interested in the St. John’s job, according to sources.

He has done well at his alma mater in his first two seasons as a head coach.

He led Hofstra to the CAA regular season crown this season and has molded two-time CAA Player of the Year, Aaron Estrada. Claxton is short on experience, though. 

Speedy Claxton led Hofstra to a Colonial Athletic Association regular season championship in 2022-23.
Speedy Claxton led Hofstra to a CAA regular season title this year.
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Robert Jones, Norfolk State 

The Queens native twice interviewed for the Fordham job that first went to Kyle Neptune and later to Keith Urgo.

Jones has led Norfolk State to a pair of NCAA Tournament berths and four 20-win seasons in 10 years at the MEAC school.

He worked under former Iona coach Tim Cluess at St. Mary’s High School years ago. 

Matt Langel, Colgate 

Considered an expert tactician, the 45-year-old Langel has guided Colgate to four straight NCAA Tournament berths.

He also played and coached at Penn. Langel inherited a struggling Colgate program in 2011 that was coming off six losing seasons in seven years, and has elevated it into one of the premier low-major teams annually. 

Mike Boynton, Oklahoma State 

A longshot, Boynton has a massive $9.45 million buyout, according to The Oklahoman, and appears to be headed back to the NCAA Tournament with the Cowboys.

Oklahoma State head coach Mike Boynton, a Brooklyn native, won his 100th game at the University this season.
Oklahoma State head coach Mike Boynton is a Brooklyn native.
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St. John’s president Rev. Brian Shanley is said to be a fan of Boynton, an energetic Brooklyn native and Bishop Loughlin alum.

His teams regularly are among the country’s best on defense.

Mike Brey, Free Agent

Brey, 63, has ties to athletic director Mike Cragg from his days as a Duke assistant, and did reach three Sweet 16’s in his time as Notre Dame’s coach.

But he’s only been to one NCAA Tournament since 2017, and is coming off a dismal 11-21 campaign that led to him stepping down as the Irish coach.