Former St. John's star Chris Mullin has accepted his alma mater's offer to return to Queens as coach of the men's basketball team he once led to the Final Four in 1985, Newsday has confirmed.

No formal announcement was expected Monday night because Mullin was traveling, but the formalities of signing a contract should take place on Tuesday with a news conference planned for Wednesday to introduce him as head of the program.

Mullin was the only candidate St. John's approached after parting ways with Steve Lavin on Friday. That was the plan from the outset when school president Conrado "Bobby" Gempesaw made the decision to make a change. Mullin always has maintained a close association with the school, and officials knew the 51-year-old Hall of Famer was open to taking on the challenge of restoring the program to prominence as a first-time coach.

It's expected his staff will include a veteran bench coach and experienced college recruiters. And there is no doubt that St. John's once again will make a major push to recruit talent from the New York metropolitan area. Potential targets for Mullin's staff include Kentucky assistant Barry Rohrssen, Iowa State assistant Matt Abdelmassih and Chicago Bulls assistant Ed Pinckney, a contemporary of Mullin's who starred at Villanova in their Big East heyday.

Mullin enjoyed a 16-year NBA career and was a two-time Olympic gold medalist. He later served five years as executive vice president of basketball operations for the Golden State Warriors and currently is a front-office adviser for the Sacramento Kings, supervising that organization's college and international scouting program.