Ron Everhart Should Not and Will Not (I Think) Take the PSU Job

Penn State Head Basketball Coach Ed DeChellis has resigned to take the same job at the United States Naval Academy. DeChellis was coming off the program’s first NCAA Tournament appearance in ten seasons. This adds to the surprise of a coach leaving a program this late in the recruiting period. It is suspected by David Jones of the Harrisburg Patriot-News that DeChellis felt shortchanged at Penn State.

DeChellis, now 52, is not interested in coaching more than another 8-10 years. He felt a lack of respect and commitment from the Penn State administration. He was unable to get an extension or raise on a contract lasting three more seasons. His daughters have completed college and are out of the house. His wife Kim, I’ve been told, loved the idea of living in a beautiful area bordering the major metro of Washington/Baltimore.

And, most of all, he was wanted.

Salary, according to a dependable source at the Naval Academy, will be a mere $450,000 per year over five seasons. DeChellis was making $650,000 annually at PSU. But not only was he under jeopardy of not being renewed after his contract ran out in 2014 but he clearly believed a sub-par season in 2011-12 would result in his firing. He  apparently decided job security was worth a dip in salary.

With DeChellis leaving, that creates an opening at a BCS program. That should open the eyes of several aspirants, however there are several reasons why it would be foolish to take this job right now. For one thing, last year’s team featured Point Guard Talor Battle who averaged over twenty points on a club that averaged only 63 points per game. As Battle went, so did PSU. He will be gone this year leaving the team in shambles. Furthermore, prized transfer point guard Juwan Staten from Dayton will probably defect along with his coach according to Jones.

Secondly, as DeChellis’ departure demonstrates, the basketball program is a second class citizen in Happy Valley. DeChellis managed to win the NIT and make the NCAA’s in consecutive years and the administration at Penn State scoffed at the notion of a raise or long term contract extension. Such is not representative of a friendly working environment. Why would anyone jump at that job?

It is still a BCS school, but the constraints limit the types of candidates that would be interested. The first group would be coaches looking to parlay the PSU job into a better job. The Second group includes coaches who fell from grace at major programs that are unemployed or working as assistants. The third group are those coaches that were in the second group but are now at mid-major programs working their way back up the ladder.

Ron Everhart falls into the first group of candidates. According to Andy Katz, “Everhart would also listen seriously to Penn State, according to a source.” He certainly would have to listen, but I suspect his better judgment will prevail if he does get offered the job. Its a major conference program! Except that it isn’t. Could he parlay that job into a better job? Probably not. With DeChellis’ unceremonious exit his name is on a list with the likes of Dick Harter, Bruce Parkhill and Jerry Dunn; all of which were PSU’s head man and were not heard from again. PSU is not a stepping stone because of the little attention given to it.

The lack of care taken by PSU will not attract the big time prospects. Thus, I fully suspect that Everhart, were he to take the gig, would have a team that looked like the one he has had on the bluff. He, also, would have to play in one of the toughest leagues in the nation unfortunately. Such does not spell success. I suspect he would be gone within four seasons.

If Everhart waits it out, he is likely to get a better job. Seth Greenberg seems as if he is perpetually on the hot seat as he cannot seem to get Virginia Tech to the dance. They are always on the wrong side of the bubble. One bad season at Blacksburg would likely see his demise. If that happens, Everhart, a former Hokie, would have to be near the top of Tech’s list. Even if that job doesn’t open up, were Everhart to get Duquesne of all programs to the dance, he would be a very wanted man. Bigger and Better opportunities would emerge rather than second class jobs like Penn State.

So, Everhart has an interview with PSU. Big deal. He would be incredible dumb to make such a move. The Penn State job does not open doors and furthermore, his style of play would not gel with what PSU expects. Everhart does not play Big Ten basketball and the administration should know this. For this reason, I suspect they will not offer Everhart the job anyway. So, they won’t offer and Everhart would say no. I think?