Xavier assistant basketball coach Ashley Howard is leaving after one season to take a job as an assistant at Villanova, Musketeers head coach Chris Mack told the Cincinnati Enquirer Thursday.
Wildcats head coach Jay Wright, through a spokesman, declined comment.
Villanova has an opening on its staff following the departure of Raphael Chillious, who returned to the bench at Washington after spending one season with the Wildcats.
Howard, who starred as a guard at Monsignor Bonner High School and Drexel, spent four seasons as an assistant coach at La Salle and four in the same capacity at Drexel before going to Xavier. The Musketeers will begin play in the Big East next season.
The Enquirer reported that Villanova had tried to hire Howard away from Xavier two months after he joined the staff of the Musketeers.
“It’s disappointing to lose a young and talented coach like Ashley Howard, especially to another Big East program,” Mack said in the Enquirer. “He is a future head coach and his contributions while at Xavier were greatly appreciated.”