Villanova assistant coach, Ashley Howard will be the next La Salle head men’s basketball head coach, as negotiations between Howard and La Salle were finalized over the weekend.
“He’s bright; he’s a basketball lifer,” said Villanova head coach Jay Wright of Howard, who spent five years on the Main Line. “He’s an outstanding recruiter, he’s a very good X-and-O guy. Great teacher on the court. And a really good man, the kind of person you like to have lead your program and be a representative of your university.”
Howard was always one of La Salle’s top targets, and has always shown prominent interest in the position as his first college coaching job was an assistant at La Salle.
He’s been a Philadelphia guy his whole life, attending Monsignor Bonner High School and then going on to play at Drexel. He graduated from Drexel in 2004, before receiving his first gig with the Explorers.
When Howard was an assistant under former La Salle head coach John Giannini, he spent four years there before returning to his alma mater to work under Bruiser Flint. He left the 215 and the state of Pennsylvania altogether to work as an assistant at Xavier from 2012-13, but eventually returned to the Philly scene to work for Wright a year later.
Howard and La Salle graduate Tim Legler, an ESPN basketball analyst, were viewed as top candidates to replace Giannini, who was let go in March after coaching the Explorers for the past 14 years.
Howard has been a part of two national title runs during his time at Villanova, which also includes three Big East tournament championships. As Wright had mentioned, he is an exceptional recruiter, being the primary recruiter for Villanova superstars like Jalen Brunson, Mikal Bridges, and Los Angeles Lakers forward Josh Hart.
Howard’s five-year deal is expected to be officially announced on Monday.