SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. (AP) Seton Hall athletic director Joseph Quinlan Jr. will resign after a five-year tenure marked by problems with former basketball coach Bobby Gonzalez.
Quinlan announced Friday that he will be stepping down Oct. 8 to pursue other opportunities.
The resignation comes six months after the fiery Gonzalez was fired following a season of player problems on and off the court.
“When you hire coaches generally you want to hire someone who will improve your program, so that’s what your focus is,” Quinlan said, who refused to say anything negative about working with Gonzalez.
Deputy athletic director Duane Bailey and senior associate athletic director Ginger Fulton will oversee the department’s day-to-day operations through the remainder of the academic year, the school said.
“I think we accomplished a tremendous amount whether it was the facility improvement or the (Owen T. Carroll) field or the coaching office complex. We did some things to help students with life skills. We made very good progress. Pirate Blue has done well and the move to the Prudential Center was a significant move. We got a great deal done.”
Seton Hall hired former U.S. Olympic coach Anne Donovan to take over the women’s basketball program this fall and Iona’s Kevin Willard to replace Gonzalez.
Quinlan’s future with the Big East Conference school had been in question after Law School Dean Patrick Hobbs was appointed to oversee the department in July 2009.
Quinlan said his resignation also gives the school’s new president a chance to appoint an athletic director instead of inheriting one. He said he does not have another job lined up.
“We are thankful for Joe’s leadership over the last five years,” Hobbs said. “His work has provided the athletics department with a solid foundation for future success.”
Quinlan hired Gonzalez four years ago to replace Louis Orr. While the basketball team showed improvement, Gonzalez caused problems with his behavior on the court. He had a run-in with then-Rutgers coach Fred Hill after a game at the Prudential Center late in the 2007-08 season, and he was suspended by Quinlan for the opening game of the next season for criticizing officials in that game.
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