Everhart appointed West Virginia assistant coach
Published: Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 10:05
Former-Duquesne men’s basketball coach Ron Everhart will return to his home-state of West Virginia to join Bob Huggins’s staff at West Virginia University as assistant basketball coach.
West Virginia announced Monday that Everhart will replace Jerrod Calhoun, who left West Virginia in April to become Fairmont State University’s head basketball coach.
Huggins and Everhart are known to have a close friendship, which Everhart said made him appreciate this opportunity more.
“Coach Huggins has been a mentor and big brother to me since I was a young kid,” Everhart said in a statement. “I have always admired him and have great respect for him. Coach Huggins is a Hall of Fame coach and an even better person. I’m honored to have this opportunity.”
Everhart will bring 27 years of experience, 18 as a head coach, to West Virginia. As head coach at Duquesne, Northeastern and McNeese State, Everhart posted a 273-261 overall record and earned recognition for his ability to turn around struggling programs.
The year before Everhart was named Duquesne’s head basketball coach, the Dukes limped to a 3-24 record, but the program was quickly reinvigorated and became a respectable member of the Atlantic 10 Conference, earning a 99-89 (46-50) record during his six seasons.
Everhart’s Dukes snapped a streak of 13 consecutive losing seasons on the Bluff with a 17-13 record in 2007-08 then came just six points shy of winning the A-10 Tournament in 2008-09 and earning Duquesne’s first NCAA Tournament appearance since 1977. The Dukes made three consecutive postseason appearances from 2008-09 to 2010-2011 (one NIT appearance and two CBI appearances) after not earning a single postseason appearance since 1994.
Huggins said he is excited to have Everhart on his staff.
“I have always admired the way Ronnie has coached his teams from McNeese State to Northeastern to Duquesne, and the quality of players he has been able to attract,” Huggins said in a statement.
West Virginia employs a coaching system that involves assistant coaches in in-game coaching, and Huggins said Everhart will be able to be hands on with the team.
“I think he’s going to bring a great deal to the table,” Huggins said. “My assistant coaches-it’s not one of those deals where they get to supervise and officiate scrimmages-they coach.
In Everhart’s final season, the Dukes earned a 16-15 record and announced March 11 that they would not accept a bid to play in a postseason tournament. Everhart was then fired March 23 due to his teams’ inability to produce down the stretch.
Duquesne went 3-6 in the Atlantic 10 Tournament under Everhart, earning all three wins during their run to the title game in 2008-09. The Dukes had lost in their first appearance in the A-10 Tournament the past three seasons.
But Everhart had a track-record of strong recruiting, bringing Aaron Jackson, Damian Saunders, Bill Clark and T.J. McConnell to the Bluff. He also had highly-rated recruits Donovan Jack and Willie Moore on their way to Duquesne before his dismissal. Both have since been granted a release from their commitments, Jack has committed to Penn State while Moore will head to Oregon.
“Ron does a great job recruiting,” Huggins said. “He’s got contacts in a lot of places that certainly we didn’t have, so I think he’s going to do a great job.”
Everhart said he looks forward to the ability to promote West Virginia’s basketball program.
“The bottom line is in any recruiting process it’s about you having the ability to sell something that is great and viable,” Everhart said. “To have the ability to sell the university and the state of West Virginia is something that I feel very comfortable with having grown up here.”