Willard (middle) as an assistant coach with the Louisville Cardinals under Pitino.
|Born||April 6, 1975|
Huntington, New York
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|1997–2001||Boston Celtics (assistant)|
|Head coaching record|
|Tournaments||1–4 (NCAA) |
|Accomplishments and honors|
|Big East Tournament championship (2016)|
|Big East Co-Coach of the Year (2016)|
MAAC Coach of the Year (2010)
Willard started his coaching career in the NBA ranks, working on the bench with coach Rick Pitino of the Boston Celtics. After Pitino resigned from the Celtics in 2001, Willard followed him to Louisville, and spent the next six years there as his assistant.
He is the former coach of Iona College, where he took over the reins after Jeff Ruland was fired after going 2–28 in 2007. Willard came to Iona after spending ten years as an assistant under Rick Pitino. In his third season with Iona, Willard led the Gaels to the 14th 20-win season in program history. It was a nine-win improvement from his first two seasons in New Rochelle. After inheriting a program that was 10th to last in the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI), the Gaels improved to a Top 80 RPI in 2009–10, the highest turnaround over the time span in NCAA Division I. After completing the turnaround, on March 28, 2010 Willard accepted the head coaching position at Seton Hall University, a school that competes in the Big East Conference. He lead the Pirates to the 2016 Big East Championship. On March 14, 2019, he became the first Pirates head coach to lead the team to four straight 20 win seasons.
Head coaching record
|Iona Gaels (Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) (2007–2010)|
|Iona:||45–49 (.479)||27–27 (.500)|
|Seton Hall Pirates (Big East Conference) (2010–present)|
|2011–12||Seton Hall||21–13||8–10||10th||NIT Second Round|
|2015–16||Seton Hall||25–9||12–6||3rd||NCAA First Round|
|2016–17||Seton Hall||21–12||10–8||T–3rd||NCAA First Round|
|2017–18||Seton Hall||22–12||10–8||T–3rd||NCAA Second Round|
|2018–19||Seton Hall||20–14||9–9||T–3rd||NCAA First Round|
|Seton Hall:||169–126 (.573)||70–90 (.438)|
Postseason invitational champion