Duquesne offers new men's basketball coach Ferry job, commitment

Jerry DiPaola
| Friday, April 13, 2012

The job interview was the easy part of the process that brought Jim Ferry to Duquesne.

In his meetings with athletic director Greg Amodio, Ferry sat down and analyzed the Dukes' roster, five games from the 2011-12 season and what the program needs.

"He showed through his homework and his hard work that he wanted to be the next coach here," Amodio said.

But that was basketball, Ferry's life's work. As he said Thursday during his introductory news conference at Palumbo Center, "I'm a basketball coach, and I'm going to coach forever."

A more decisive moment came when Ferry met with his players, who were "confused" when Ron Everhart was fired three weeks ago, junior guard Sean Johnson said. Ferry quickly erased that.

"He said, ‘You're either all-in or all-out,' " Johnson said. "That got us. He's, like, for real. Right then and there, we just felt confidence in him. He is going to treat us like we should be."

"I don't want anybody on the fence," Ferry said.

Ferry sought commitment from his players after guards T.J. McConnell and Mike Talley transferred at the end of the season, and he asked for nothing less from the university in his discussions with Amodio and school president Charles Dougherty.

"Everybody is on board and wants to take this to the next level," Ferry said.

That appears to be the case, considering a nearly 100 percent increase in spending on the program in the past six years, according to the most recent U.S. Department of Education statistics. Amodio and Ferry would not reveal the coach's salary, but the Associated Press reported he will be paid $600,000 per year on a seven-year contract. Everhart never made more than $370,000.

"The university is willing and ready to make additional commitments to make the program better," Amodio said. "(Salary) is another area where we will continue to show a strength in commitment."

Ferry, 44, was one of six coaches interviewed by Amodio in 18 days. He would not identify the other candidates.

"People reach out to you, and you reach out to people," Amodio said. "You can't short-sell the allure of being in the Atlantic 10."

Ferry will bring an up-tempo style to Duquesne after his Long Island team was second in the nation in scoring last season, averaging 81.4 points. He said he recruited the New York City area, but not to a fault. He will use the same critical eye at Duquesne.

"We are going to be here for a while," Ferry said. "We want to make sure we get the right guy, not a guy."

Note: Ferry named assistants Rich Glesmann, who was with him for eight seasons at LIU, and Brian Nash, formerly of Fairfield, to his staff. Nash, a former head coach at St. Francis (N.Y.), will be associate head coach.

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Weighing in

Columnist Dejan Kovacevic's views and a video interview with the Dukes' new head coach can be found on Kovacevic's blog .

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