Who will be Penn State's next basketball coach?

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Who will be Penn State's next basketball coach?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Posted: 8:35 p.m.

By Genaro C. Armas
The Associated Press

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- An unexpected coaching search is underway at Penn State after Ed DeChellis left his alma mater to take the same position at Navy.

The blinds in the corner office that used to belong to DeChellis were drawn Tuesday morning at the Jordan Center. Around the corner and down a long corridor, athletic director Tim Curley began working the phones a day after DeChellis announced his surprise resignation.

Asked what he was looking for in the next coach, Curley didn't name names, but stressed the priority of finding the right fit for the program. Penn State prides itself as a power conference team whose athletes also excel off the court.

"Our program is built on certain values and tradition, a certain way of operating," he said in a phone interview Tuesday afternoon with The Associated Press. "Ultimately, it's my responsibility to make sure we identify a coach who identifies with our system and the Penn State way."

Though not necessarily someone with Penn State ties, like DeChellis.

"We're conducting a national search, so we're open to the best candidate that we can find," Curley said. He said there was no timeline, though he hoped to move quickly to find a replacement.

A native of western Pennsylvania, the 52-year-old DeChellis returned to Penn State in 2003 after a successful seven-year stint at East Tennessee State. Penn State won the 2009 NIT under DeChellis, then surged into the Big Ten tournament final this past spring to secure a trip to the NCAAs and a date with Temple.

The 66-64 loss to the Owls turned out to be DeChellis' last game. He compiled a record of 114-138, with a 41-95 mark in regular-season Big Ten play.

Curley said DeChellis left the program in an "excellent state," with a great foundation. "If you look at the body of work ... you saw improvements in all the areas."

Following the departure of career leading scorer Talor Battle and three other senior starters, the next coach will inherit a young and relatively inexperienced roster, other than point guard Tim Frazier.

Fans with pie-in-the-sky hopes have mentioned high-profile names from mid-majors like Butler's Brad Stevens or VCU's Shaka Smart on wish lists, but both hot commodities recently signed long-term extensions to stay put.

Midwest or Pennsylvania ties could be a selling point, especially if Penn State has any hope of getting more competitive on the recruiting trail.

Temple's Fran Dunphy, who left Penn in 2006 to replace Hall of Famer John Chaney with the Owls, is certainly a known commodity. But he signed an extension with Temple a year ago to keep him in Philadelphia through 2018.

Former Bucknell coach Pat Flannery is available. The architect of the defensive-minded Patriot League squads that had back-to-back first-round NCAA victories in 2005 and 2006 is a fundraiser now for Bucknell after stepping down in 2008.

Known for his fiery intensity, Flannery had experienced health problems in his last couple years on the bench. Flannery since then has said he is completely healthy again.

He declined comment when contacted Tuesday by the AP, except saying the Penn State opening "would be a great opportunity for anyone." Flannery could be intriguing given the odd timing of DeChellis' departure, a point when most schools have their coaching staffs in place.

ESPN analyst Dick Vitale on his Twitter feed promoted former Indiana and Texas Tech coach Bob Knight, certainly a name that would raise any school's profile. But Knight, now 70, has his history of volatility that doesn't fit Penn State's image.

There are other possibilities with Pennsylvania ties that currently have coaching jobs, such as Milwaukee's Rob Jeter, Drexel's Bruiser Flint, Marshall's Tom Herrion and Duquesne's Ron Everhart.

Jeter was born in Pittsburgh, Flint has built the Dragons into a consistent CAA contender in the shadows of the more high-profile Philadelphia programs, Herrion was an assistant at Pitt, and Everhart has taken the Dukes, who have long played second fiddle to the Panthers in Pittsburgh, to postseason play the past three seasons.

Former Penn State forward Jamelle Cornley, who led the NIT championship team, praised DeChellis for preaching integrity. An NCAA Academic Progress Report released Tuesday showed Penn State scoring 995 out of 1,000, tied for the best mark in the Big Ten with Michigan State.

He called DeChellis an "honorable man" for which he will always have deep appreciation. On the court, Cornley said the next coach must establish an identity for the program, or a younger coach with "swagger."

"It's establishing an identity. And that is something that a Penn State program has yet to see for sometime," Cornley, who now plays in Argentina, wrote in an email. "I feel the next coach has to approach his players and community with an attitude that demonstrates 'grit' and that identity factor. A willingness to lay it all out with a no-holds-bar mentality."

Salary could be another stumbling block. An open records report from Penn State last year showed DeChellis' compensation package totaled 709,000. That was the lowest among the coaches of the seven Big Ten teams that made the NCAAs this season, according to a recent USA Today analysis.

Curley said Penn State would pay a "competitive salary" to ensure the school attracts the right candidate.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Baylor to fire football coach Briles, re-assign president

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Baylor to fire football coach Briles, re-assign president

WACO, Texas -- Baylor University's board of regents said Thursday that it will fire football coach Art Briles and re-assign university President Kenneth Starr amid questions over the school's handling of sexual assault complaints against players.

The nation's largest Baptist university said in a statement Thursday that it had suspended Briles "with intent to terminate." Starr will leave the position of president on May 31, but the school says he will serve as chancellor.

The university also placed athletic director Ian McCaw on probation.

Baylor asked a law firm last year to conduct a review of its handling of sexual assault cases following allegations that the football program mishandled several cases of players attacking women.

The university's statement said the review revealed "a fundamental failure."

Baylor has faced increasing criticism in recent months for its handling of reports of rape and other violent incidents involving football players and students. One victim has sued the university, saying it was deliberately indifferent to her allegations against a former player who was eventually convicted of sexually assaulting her.

Starr ordered an investigation last year but has been mostly silent amid mounting criticism over the school's handling of the complaints, which erupted under his leadership. He took over as the university's president in 2010, about a decade after the former prosecutor investigated former President Clinton's sexual relationship with White House intern Monica Lewisnky.

The football team, whose players were at the center of the upheaval, enjoyed unprecedented success under Briles' tenure, including two Big 12 championships in the last three years. That success brought a financial windfall, and in 2014, Baylor opened a new, $250-million on-campus football stadium. But Briles' program has also been criticized for recruiting or accepting transfer players without regard to the harm they might cause fellow students.

Starr rode the waves of the program's success, and often ran on the football field with Baylor students in pregame ceremonies. But as investigations began into the school's handling of sexual assault allegations against players, Starr provided only brief comments, even as criticism of the school mounted.

In a February statement issued by university, Starr said "our hearts break for those whose lives are impacted by execrable acts of sexual violence." And at a prayer breakfast last month, Starr told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram: "I am in favor of transparency. Stand up, take your medicine if you made a mistake."

Baylor's Board of Regents was recently briefed by a law firm hired to investigate how the school responded to assault incidents, and the school on Thursday released a summary of its findings. Starr initiated the review in 2015, after former football player Sam Ukwuachu was convicted of sexually assaulting a female soccer player.

Ukwuachu, who was convicted in 2015, transferred to Baylor after he was dismissed from Boise State. Ukwuachu's former girlfriend testified during his rape trial in Texas that he had struck and choked her when he attended Boise State.

Ukwuachu's former coach, Chris Peterson, now the coach at Washington, said he "thoroughly apprised" Briles about the circumstances of Ukuwachu's dismissal. Briles disputed that account, saying he talked with Peterson and there was no mention of the incident.

The school is also facing a federal lawsuit from a former student claiming the school was "deliberately indifferent" to rape allegations levied at a former football player Tevin Elliott, who was convicted in 2014 of sexually assaulting the woman.

The uproar following Ukwuachu's conviction caused Baylor to initiate the review by the Philadelphia law firm Pepper Hamilton, and to announce a $5 million effort to improve efforts on how it responds to sexual assault, including adding another investigator and more staff.

But the Ukwuachu case was just the start of months of revelations of football players being involved in violent incidents with little or no repercussions. At least seven other woman have publicly come forward to say the school ignored their sexual assault allegations.

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Josh Hart discusses NBA draft process, returning to Villanova

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Josh Hart discusses NBA draft process, returning to Villanova

Josh Hart said the decision wasn’t easy.

But he’s happy with it.

After withdrawing his name from the NBA draft to return to school (see story), Hart is excited to focus on Villanova, graduation and then the NBA dream.

“I love the school, I love the teachers, the student body, the support, my teammates that we have coming back,” the 6-foot-5 guard said Wednesday on Comcast SportsNet’s Philly Sports Talk. “So it was a tough one and I just thought at the end of the day, I think going back for my senior year would be in the best interest of my parents and myself.”

As a junior, Hart helped Villanova win its second national championship in program history by leading the Wildcats in scoring with 15.5 points per game while shooting 51.3 percent from the field.

Hart received plenty of feedback from NBA teams. He said shooting and ball handling are what he hopes to improve.

As far as his draft stock …

“There were teams interested maybe in the first [round], and then there were teams that said they would take me in the second,” Hart said. “But there’s a whole month before the draft, a lot of teams didn’t know exactly what they were doing with their picks — whether they were trying to trade up for a pick, trying to trade down, trying to trade a pick for a player. Several teams said that they would take me.”

For more from Hart on the draft and Villanova, watch the video above.

Delaware hires Martin Ingelsby as new head basketball coach

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Delaware hires Martin Ingelsby as new head basketball coach

Delaware has its new head basketball coach in Martin Ingelsby.

Ingelsby, a native of Berwyn, Pennsylvania, comes from Notre Dame, where he played from 1997-2001 and coached for 13 seasons, seven as an assistant.

Ingelsby played his high school ball at Archbishop Carroll and is the son of Tom Ingelsby, who played for Villanova from 1970-73.

Delaware is coming off a 7-23 season and 2-16 mark in CAA play, which led to the firing of head coach Monte Ross.

The Blue Hens, who announced the hire Tuesday, will formally introduce Ingelsby in a press conference Wednesday at 11 a.m. at Bob Carpenter Center Auditorium.