St. Joseph’s has targeted 76ers assistant coach Billy Lange as its next head coach, according to several sources, and an announcement is expected this week.
It would be difficult to find a coach with a more complete resume and more local stations. Lange worked under Herb Magee (at what was then called Philadelphia Textile), Speedy Morris (at La Salle), and Jay Wright (twice at Villanova), before joining Brett Brown’s Sixers staff.
Between Villanova stints, Lange was head coach at Navy for seven seasons. The only hole in his resume is that he never took the Midshipmen to the NCAA Tournament. His highest finish was second in the Patriot League in 2007-08. Overall, Navy was 93-113 during Lange’s tenure. He did, however, coach the Merchant Marine Academy to the NCAA Division III Sweet 16 in his second of two seasons there, in 2000-01.
Last week, St. Joe’s fired Phil Martelli, who was the Hawks’ head coach since 1995.
Lange, 47, a Rowan grad, is the son of legendary Bishop Eustace coach Bill Lange, and coached Eustace for a season. His hire would be the second straight time a Big Five school went after a former top assistant to Wright, following La Salle’s hiring of Ashley Howard last season.
Both those coaches also have ties to John Giannini. Lange played for Giannini at Rowan, and Howard coached under Giannini in his first assistant job at La Salle.