When St. John’s hired one its’ all-time greats in Chris Mullin to run the program last spring, one of the first hires to the staff was Barry “Slice” Rohrssen as associate head coach. With his past experiences as both an assistant and head coach, Rohrssen’s abilities as a recruiter and his connections in the New York metropolitan area made him a key hire for Mullin.
Tuesday night it was reported by SNY.tv that the two parties have decided to part ways, leaving Mullin with a vacancy to fill on his coaching staff. Rohrssen’s departure leaves Greg St. Jean and Matt Abdelmassih as the current assistants on Mullin’s staff, with the latter also being regarded as a good recruiter.
But how valuable was the Brooklyn native considered to be upon his hiring at St. John’s? His deal ran for six years, with Mullin’s deal being a five-year contract. Also to be considered in this: the move comes one day before the start of the program’s elite camp.
Rohrssen played a key role on Ben Howland’s and Jamie Dixon’s staffs at Pittsburgh, as his connections in the New York metropolitan area helped the program bring in recruits such as Brandin Knight (from nearby New Jersey), Carl Krauser, Chris Taft and Levance Fields. That success led to the Panthers becoming a power in the Big East during the early to mid-2000’s.
Rohrssen had two stints at Pittsburgh, with the second being followed by a season with John Calipari at Kentucky (2014-15).
A key for St. John’s on the recruiting trail has been establishing themselves as a player in New York City after not enjoying much success recruiting area prospects during Steve Lavin’s tenure as head coach. In the 2016 class the Red Storm managed to reel in two local players expected to have a major impact next season in junior college transfer Bashir Ahmed and freshman guard Shamorie Ponds.