UK loses another ‘Slice’ of the pie

Kentucky assistant coach Barry Rohrssen yells to the in-bounder during the first half of the University of Kentucky vs. Arkansas at Rupp Arena in Lexington , Ky., on Saturday, February 28, 2015. Photo by Jonathan Krueger

By Joshua Huff

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UK lost its eighth member from the 2014-15 team on Monday as assistant coach Barry “Slice” Rohrssen heads home to New York to become an assistant for new St. John’s head coach Chris Mullen.

“Let’s all congratulate Slice for his new opportunity at St. John’s,” UK coach John Calipari said. “When he came in my office and talked to me about the offer, we both got emotional.”

A vital component to UK’s historic 38-0 start, Slice has more than 20 years of coaching experience under his belt. A native of Brooklyn, Rohrssen previously served as head coach at Manhattan College from 2006-2011. Prior to UK, he served as an assistant coach at the University of Pittsburgh and worked with the Portland Trail Blazers in 2012-13.

“You have to understand,” Calipari continued. “We’ve been friends for 30 years. Not only that, he loved this place and the Big Blue Nation. At the end of the day, it was an offer in every way – including going home – that I didn’t think he could pass on.”

Rohrssen heads to a St. John’s team that has completely shaken up its coaching staff since this March’s failed NCAA Tournament run. Since hiring Mullen as its head coach, the program has hired former Iowa State assistant coach Matt Adbelmassih along with Rohrssen. Mullen continues to build a staff that looks to improve upon a program that went 21-12 on the season and lost to San Diego State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

“I couldn’t be happier for Slice,” Calipari concluded. “He’s not only a great person, he’s a terrific coach and recruiter, and one of my most loyal friends. I wish Slice and Kerry nothing but the best in their new opportunity.”