RE: Could DeChellis come back?
There seem to be some mixed feelings about Coach DeChellis at PSU.
This guy sort of seems like PSU's version of Pitt.
From Nittany White Out
Goodbye, Ed DeChellis. It’s been Real.
Submitted by Devon on May 24, 2011
I wish, instead of a blog, I had a TV show. If I did, I would’ve started today with a nod to Stephen Colbert–there would be balloons falling from the rafters, celebratory music, and the flashing headline: WE DID IT!
Well, ironically enough, we didn’t do anything. Tim Curley’s athletic department didn’t fire Ed DeChellis, and he wasn’t forced to resign. No, he stepped down, of his own accord, taking a 30% paycut and major step-down in prestige to go to a Navy program that’s practically the Patriot League equivalent to Penn State. What prompted this decision? Why now? And what does this mean for the program?
First and foremost, DeChellis could not have picked a worse time to bail on this program, one he ostensibly loved so very much. For the first time in his miserable 8-year tenure, he’d actually assembled a recruiting class that offered a glimmer of hope for the future–in players like Trey Lewis and Juwan Staten, each of whom now seems likely to renege on his commitment, if any insight can be gleamed from reports. Should they do that, the cupboard will be left about as bare as the one DeChellis inherited.
Ed always claimed that Penn State was his dream job, that there wasn’t a program he’d rather be coaching at. If that’s true, why is he turning his back on the school now?
Because Ed knew he’d probably be getting fired after next season–the rumor mill had been churning, and reputable sources reported that if Penn State had failed to make the NCAA tournament this year, he’d have been gone. Now, the media seems eager to pin this on Tim Curley–saying that he never made Ed DeChellis feel loved. That after making one tournament in 8 years, Ed never got any sense of security. That next year would be another make-or-break season for his future with the Nittany Lions. He received about $700,000 a year and produced miserable results, but he didn’t feel loved? Spare me. So when Navy came along to offer him a deal, Ed, that bastion of family values, looked up and down his roster and knew there was no chance in hell that they’d win enough games to keep him around, and that, apparently, the allure of his “dream job” had entirely worn off.
What does that say to the remaining players on the team? It might have been difficult to muster up the self-esteem to pretend you could compete in the Big Ten next year, but now your coach is doing everything but going out and saying
Ed broke down crying at last night’s press conference. He recalled a sermon at his church last week, and said he was nearly driven to tears when he visited Navy. He claimed that it was his “calling” to go to a school like that.
I’m sorry, Ed, but I don’t believe that for a minute. According to other reports, DeChellis had been entertaining other offers during the off-season, and this was self-motivated, by a prevailing sense of career security. He’d reportedly declined a job from a “major midwestern mid-major” that offered more than one million per year, holding out instead for a better job. Well, at Navy, there’s less money, but as little pressure as imaginable.
At Navy, Ed could go 41-95 in league play over the first 8 years of his career without finding himself on the hot seat. There’s no threat of boosters coming in and replacing him–not that there ever really was at Penn State, but, I suppose, there could’ve been. Navy basketball is even more under the radar then Penn State basketball, and Ed has a built-in excuse for failure.
Some didn’t hold Ed’s struggles against him. They blamed it on the program. On the location. On the lack of history, and lack of commitment from the athletic department. Well, at Navy, there’s that in spades. And there’s the fact that kids aren’t exactly eager to sign years of their lives away to joining the Navy, especially while this country is fighting wars overseas. David Robinson isn’t walking through that door.
Look, at the expense of compromising my position, I like Ed DeChellis as a person. He is, by all accounts, a great guy, someone who’s made an incredible commitment to charity work, and one who, above all else, cares. He’s just not a very good basketball coach, and unfortunately, I, and most others, care more about his exploits in that regard than I do his personal life. And this is, I suppose, good for Ed. He’s still making a salary most of us can only dream about to coach basketball, he’ll live in a beautiful area in Annapolis, and, well, there’s pretty much zero pressure on him to do anything.
But let’s not make this about anything more than coaching. The fact is, Ed DeChellis was, quite simply, not good at his job, one that rewarded him handsomely, even if it wasn’t relative riches compared to his fellow conference head coaches. He reached 2 NITs and 1 NCAA tournament in 8 years–and that appearance was a total fluke. He never won a tournament game. Even padding an out-of-conference schedule with cupcakes galore, he only twice finished a season with a winning record. And that tournament appearance last year wasn’t a springboard to future success, it would’ve been followed by a rebuilding year as bad as any he’d had. DeChellis’ first year at Penn State was a 3-16 Big Ten mark, and so was his 7th. Had he gotten a 9th, it’s that, or thereabouts, probably would’ve been the conference record. Shouldn’t we have greater aspirations?
You know how I feel about this from the Penn State perspective, given that I’d been leading the charge against Ed DeChellis for two years now. Good for Penn State. Good for Tim Curley. I’m not happy with how Curley’s mismanaged the basketball program, but this gives him a chance to start anew. What could’ve been gained from locking up Ed long-term? He’ll never get this program much further than he did this past year. He simply doesn’t have that capacity. Now, we can start fresh.
The likelihood, of course, is that this coaching search will be just as half-assed as the one that brought DeChellis from East Tennessee State to Penn State. It may well be one of the assistants Dan Earl or Kurt Kanaskie getting a promotion, or it could be another no-name coach who had middling success at a minor program.