Saint Peter's announces hiring of Bashir Mason to replace Shaheen Holloway as men's basketball coach

JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- Saint Peter's has hired Jersey City native Bashir Mason to replace Shaheen Holloway as the coach of the Peacocks.

Holloway left Saint Peter's a day after his team was eliminated in the Elite Eight by national runner-up North Carolina to return to Seton Hall, his alma mater. Saint Peter's was the first No. 15 seed to reach the Elite Eight. The Peacocks won the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament and went 22-12 with wins over Kentucky, Murray State and Purdue in the NCAA tournament.

This is also a homecoming for Mason, who spent the past 10 years at Wagner College on Staten Island.

Athletic director Rachelle Paul announced the hiring Tuesday without giving details of the contract to coach at the small Jesuit university. He will be introduced at a news conference on Wednesday.

"We are excited to welcome Bashir Mason to the Peacock family," said Eugene J. Cornacchia, president of the university. "He is the perfect choice to lead our men's basketball team with a proven track record in Division I athletics. We are thrilled to have his leadership and expertise to guide our student-athletes as we build upon the success of our program. I am confident that he will take us to new heights."

Mason faces some immediate issues at Saint Peter's. Backup guard Doug Edert has said he is transferring to Bryant. Starters Matthew Lee and Daryl Gates III have entered the transfer portal.

Mason, 38, led Wagner to three Northeast Conference (NEC) regular-season titles, posting a 165-130 record. He is the second coach in the conference's 40-year history to win three Jim Phelan Coach of the Year honors during that time.

The Seahawks posted a 21-6 record this past season and appeared in the NEC title game. Wagner's 15 conference wins matched the most in program history.

The Seahawks have appeared in the NIT three times under Mason.

Mason was the youngest head coach at the Division I level when he was hired by Wagner in 2012. He had been an assistant with the Seahawks for two seasons under current UConn coach Dan Hurley.

Mason is no stranger to the MAAC, arriving at Wagner after spending two seasons as an assistant coach at Marist. He began his coaching career at his high school alma mater, St. Benedict's Prep of Newark, under Hurley. He played collegiately at Drexel, leading the Dragons in assists and steals in all four of his seasons.