Now, though, it appears that Willard will replace Jeff Ruland at Iona.
FoxSports.com's Jeff Goodman is reporting that Willard, Rick Pitino's top assistant the past six seasons, will be introduced as Iona's head coach at a press conference next Tuesday.
The son of Holy Cross coach Ralph Willard, Willard got his coaching start with Pitino and the Boston Celtics. When Pitino left Boston for Louisville in 2001, Willard tagged along. Iona will be Willard's first head coaching job. Willard will be the third Louisville assistant to leave Pitino's side in the past six years to become a head coach. Mick Cronin (Cincinnati) and Reggie Theus (New Mexico State) are the other two.
It's unknown at this time who will replace Willard on the Louisville staff. It's possible that current assistant Steve Masiello could move into Willard's role and that Pitino could elevate Devon Smith, currently the Director of Basketball Operations, to the bench.