Mike Repole is a very rich and important man.
He is the co-founder of Vitamin Water and BodyArmor, which has made him worth billions; with a ‘B’ and plural. He is also a St. John’s alum and one of their major boosters, so when he goes scorched earth on the St. John’s coaching search while on Mike Francesa’s show on WFAN, people are going to notice.
And when I say he went scorched earth, I mean he went scorched earth.
“This is not a New York laughingstock anymore,” Repole said. “We are now a national embarrassment.”
You can listen to it yourself here:
To catch you up on what’s happened so far, the Johnnies decided they didn’t want to make the obvious hire — Iona’s Tim Cluess — for … some reason, and then watched as Loyola-Chicago’s Porter Moser and UMBC’s Ryan Odom both pulled their names out of the search.
Which brings us to Repole’s interview.
The crux of what he said is this: “I think we need a president’s search first. They need a new president. The culture at St. John’s right now is toxic.”
For starters, he said that he tried to get St. John’s to hire Danny Hurley four years ago when Chris Mullin was hired, but that Bobby Gempesaw — the school president — and Joe Oliva — vice president for administration, secretary and general counsel — were the ones that kept them from making the hire. He also said that those two gentlemen are the ones that are standing in the way of first-year athletic director Mike Cragg from making the hire that he wants to make. In fact, he went as far as to say that Moser turned the job down because he didn’t think that Cragg actually wanted to hire him.
Moser was probably right, but, if you ask Repole, Moser probably would have outlasted Cragg at the school, because the booster does not believe that the AD is going to be around for long if he can’t make the hire that he wants to make.
And that is what has lead us to this point.
St. John’s cannot entice a coach from the Missouri Valley or the America East to take the job.
That is not ideal.