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Kevin Willard to be Named Head Coach at Iona

Louisville assistant Kevin Willard will take over as the head coach at perennial Metro Atlantic Athletic power Iona.

With a holiday weekend on the horizon, no formal announcement will likely be made until Tuesday.

"He reminds me of Billy Donovan at the same age," sad Willard's head coach for the last ten years Rick Pitino. "He's got the same background and the same work ethic. He's as good as it gets."

Willard will be taking over for Jeff Ruland who was fired after a 2-28 season. Still, Willard has some big shoes to fill.

Ruland was an All-American during his playing days at Iona, and as head coach he led the Gaels to three conference championships, the most recent of which came just two seasons ago.

But trouble started for Ruland when he openly marketed himself for the vacant head coaching spot at Seton Hall, a job which would end up going to Bobby Gonzalez. Then Ruland lost several key players to injuries and transfers, and his 2006-2007 season started with 22 consecutive losses and nation-wide attention that likely played a large part in his termination.

A little over a year ago Willard was set to be named the head coach at Delaware before the board of trustees at the university voted against the hiring on the grounds that Willard's DUI arrest several months earlier would cast a poor light on the program. The Blue Hens ended up hiring Monté Ross instead and went 5-26.

Congratulations to Iona on a great hire and many thanks to Kevin Willard for all that he's done for this program during his time here. Also, happy 32nd birthday coach.