Seton Hall’s Kevin Willard is not looking to the future

SAN DIEGO — Worrying about their coach being poached has become an annual tradition for Seton Hall and his fans as berths for the NCAA tournament have piled up.

Three years ago, Kevin Willard flirted with Virginia Tech and was linked to current job openings in Maryland and Missouri. But the Pirates’ trainer said it was extremely premature to talk about him possibly going elsewhere, particularly as he hadn’t discussed it with the family decision-maker, his wife Julie.

“She’s the one who has to give her blessings,” Willard told the Post ahead of the NCAA tournament at Seton Hall, the South Region opener, against TCU No. 9 on Friday night. “She runs the family. She is responsible. My family always comes first.

“There wasn’t really anything to talk about. It’s not like anyone offered me a job or anything. Right now it’s just stuff on Twitter. We didn’t talk about anything except when [the family] is coming to San Diego.”

He added: “I just don’t pay attention to it. I focus on what I have to do with my players.”

Kevin Willard
Kevin Willard
Bill Kostron

In his 12th season at Seton Hall, Willard has three guaranteed years left on his contract after this season and is believed to be earning a base salary just south of $2.5 million per season. When asked about a possible contract extension for him, athletic director Bryan Felt said it was school policy not to discuss such matters.

“Kevin and I are talking about it [schools going after him] each year. We talked about this last year. We’ll be sure to talk about it again this year if anything comes up,” Felt said. “We will be very transparent with each other. Kevin and I have been talking about how much he loves being here and we love having him. So we both know where the other stands.”

As his sons Colin and Chase grew older, Willard had to address the annual rumors with them. That was the biggest change when it comes to him leaving Seton Hall one day.

“I explained to them that unfortunately every year there is a coaching merry-go-round and you’re on one side of the other,” Willard said. “You’d rather be on this side than on the evil side.”

Willard was shy when asked directly about his future at Seton Hall. He wouldn’t guarantee he’d be coach there next season and joked he could be fired – which of course doesn’t happen. But he has said he’s happy and doesn’t want to go anywhere, nor does he feel the fanbase is overly concerned about losing him.

“I haven’t seen anyone worry [I could leave]’ Willard said. Seton Hall’s Kevin Willard is not looking to the future


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