La Salle will hire Jay Wright‘s top assistant Ashley Howard as the new head coach of the Explorers. Howard is a Philly native that has been on the Villanova staff for the past five seasons, a tenure which included two NCAA titles.
This is not the first time Howard will work at La Salle – he spent four seasons as an assistant there under his now-predecessor John Giannini early in his career. Howard played at Drexel and coached there under Bruiser Flint in between his time at La Salle and Villanova.
Giannini led the Explorers to the Sweet Sixteen in 2013, but that was the only NCAA appearance for the coach during his 14-year tenure. The program itself had not been to the Dance since 1992 and had not gone that far in the event since 1955, the year after they won their only NCAA National Championship.
Howard’s coaching experience and connections to the city and area make him an excellent fit for a program looking to finally turn a corner in the Atlantic 10.