La Salle hires former Villanova assistant coach to lead men's basketball team

La Salle University students have high hopes for Ashley Howard, their new men's basketball coach.

"We're hoping he can take us all the way to the NCAA tournament," said sophomore Grace Mancini.

Howard spent the past five seasons as an assistant coach for the Villanova men's basketball team, serving as Coach Jay Wright's top assistant for the 2018 championship squad.

Howard has been with the Wildcats though two championships.

It's a welcome home for Howard, who previously worked at La Salle as an assistant coach. He was also an assistant for Drexel's team, his alma mater where he was once a star player.

Howard was also a standout player at Monsignor Bonner High School.

He is arriving at La Salle's campus weeks after Coach John Giannini parted ways with the team. Giannini was with the Explorers since 2004. La Salle made one appearance in the NCAA Tournament during his tenure.

"I'm excited for him , I'm excited for the whole team," said sophomore Sean Kelly. "I'm excited for him to bring new coaching for La Salle."

Senior Edward Hudak said, "the last two years have been rough to say the least, but I'm hoping he brings school spirit back and a team that plays together."

On Sunday, Coach Jay Wright sent out his blessing over Twitter.

A spokesperson for La Salle said Coach Howard met with the team on campus on Sunday.

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