Career moves

Career moves

Next winter, when members of the freshman class of Northeastern University enter Matthews Arena for the first basketball game of the season, unknowingly or not they will bear witness to the beginning of a new era for Husky basketball.

Just two weeks after Willette White ended her six-year reign as head coach of the women’s basketball team, Ron Everhart announced Wednesday he was leaving his men’s head coaching position at Northeastern after five years for a job at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Although rumors of Everhart’s move began last Tuesday night, he did not make his final decision until Wednesday morning, he said.

“When the ESPN story came across, I hadn’t signed anything,” Everhart said in regard to ESPN’s reports he accepted the job Tuesday night. “Even though it was more money, it was a very difficult decision for me and I will always have second thoughts about leaving. Duquesne is willing to commit a lot to the program. I am going to start from scratch there.”

Athletics Director Dave O’Brien attempted to keep Everhart at NU, but said he knew Duquesne was a good fit for him.

“I knew from the moment that job opened up that Ron would be a good candidate for the job,” O’Brien said. “It made me nervous from the minute it opened up. I knew it was an attractive job to him even before we sat down on Wednesday. There was an offer made to him in November, and again on Wednesday to get him to stay, but unfortunately it was unsuccessful.”

Everhart led the Huskies to a 19-11 overall record in their first season in the Colonial Athletic Conference. Northeastern made it to the semifinals of the CAA Championships before losing to UNC-Wilmington. All this, and it was speculated that Everhart wouldn’t be here in 2006-07.

After the 2004-05 season, both Cincinnati and Tulane recruited Everhart, but he chose to stay at Northeastern.

“Anytime there are rumors about a school recruiting a coach, the innuendo is flattering,” the 44 year-old coach said. “But at the end of last year I was in a job that I was very proud of. On the national level, people may not be aware of how good Northeastern is both academically and athletically, but there was no situation offered last year that warranted leaving a good situation here.”

Everhart is not the only component of the men’s basketball program leaving this year. Starters Jose Juan Barea and Aaron Davis are graduating, along with Janon Cole and Jeff Farmer. Everhart has also offered his assistant coaches the opportunity to follow him to Duquesne, though none have accepted yet.

O’Brien hopes to have a new head coach in two to three weeks.

“We want it done quickly, but we also want it done correctly,” he said. “We are moving as fast as possible in looking for the right match.”

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