Ed DeChellis bolts Penn State … for Navy

Just a little over two months after leading Penn State to its first NCAA Tournament appearance in ten seasons, Ed DeChellis is leaving University Park to become the head coach at Navy.

ESPN.com’s Dana O’Neil broke the news earlier this afternoon:

Penn State coach Ed DeChellis has be named coach at Navy. DeChellis replaces Billy Lange, who left Navy to become the associate head coach at Villanova.

“I’m thrilled and honored to be the next head basketball coach at the United States Naval Academy,” DeChellis said in a statement. “I look forward to the challenge of not only winning the Patriot League Championship and taking Navy back to the NCAA Tournament, but also helping young men become future leaders of this great nation of ours. I look forward to meeting the players and talking to the recruits and starting the process of getting Navy Basketball back on the national stage.”

The move by DeChellis, a Penn State alumnus, seems to be motivated by a perceived lack of respect from school administration as well as job security according to David Jones of The Patriot News:

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 U.S. 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.

If you had any reservations about calling Penn State the worst hoops job in the Big Ten, you can now tuck those safely away. At this late stage of the spring, it’s hard to imagine the Nittany Lions hiring an existing head coach particularly given the fact that Talor Battle, Andrew Jackson and Jeff Brooks are all graduating. Then again, replacing the success of DeChellis shouldn’t be difficult given the 117-139 record he compiled over eight seasons.

  • Anonymous

    I may disagree with the last statement in this thread.  I doubt very seriously the next head coach in Happy Valley comes anywhere close to 222 wins. 

  • George

    222-232 is his career record, not his record at Penn State. He was 117-139 at Penn State.

  • Anonymous

    Penn St. is really a joke when it comes to basketball. This proves it even more. An alumnus dumps you for less money. Ouch baby, ouch. Wonder what JoePa thinks

  • http://www.insidethehall.com/ Alex Bozich

    Fixed. My apologies for the error, gentlemen.

  • Kelin Blab

    Count this as a win for IU. LOVED Ed DeChellis as a coach. Very solid coach who used the strengths of his team well…..I won’t miss him one bit. We are going to the tourney baby….!

  • Zigs3

    Excuse me, but if PSU pulled some of the shenanigans that so many other colleges do, then they would be more prominent in mens basketball. Recruiting big time recruits to Happy Valley is not easy. At least PSU players can speak intelligently and most graduate. The cards are stacked against them for sure. They key on football which is another issue.

  • eph521

    He gets to coach somewhere he’s wanted – I can’t blame him for that. And as Alex pointed out, he leaves on a high note, relatively speaking… by making the NCAA tourney last year.

    But best of all… his wife is happy. We all know that a happy wife means a happy home. Best of luck at Navy Coach… you’ll have a better shot winning there than you did at Penn State.

  • eph521

    He gets to coach somewhere he’s wanted – I can’t blame him for that. And as Alex pointed out, he leaves on a high note, relatively speaking… by making the NCAA tourney last year.

    But best of all… his wife is happy. We all know that a happy wife means a happy home. Best of luck at Navy Coach… you’ll have a better shot winning there than you did at Penn State.

  • Anonymous

    Apparently speaking intelligently and graduating wasn’t what the folks in Happy Valley actually wanted from their program.  This was a case of a coach who I feel actually overachieved in Happy Valley and was under appreciated big time.  He made the smart move and got out and will be happier for it.  They will resume their place at the bottom of the big ten basketball and near the top in football and the fans won’t care one bit.

  • Hoosier Clarion

    Navy BB or PSU BB look the same with ED at the helm.  He will help them.  PSU thought they had ED under thumb, the tables turned and now they are in a tough spot.   Now who is their man?  I’ll bet their next coach costs more than $650K.  I wonder if Fife wishes he had not pulled the trigger so soon.

  • CutterInChicago

    My initial reaction is that, while an embarassment for Penn State, its also sort of a black eye on the league (a guy leaves Big Ten for Patriot League by his own volition, huh?) It does reaffrim that Penn State is, and always will be a football school.

  • Swilliams4321

    Record in the Big Ten = 41-95.     He took the Navy job solely because it was a certainty he was going to be gone from PSU in ten months.     The cupboard at the moment is completely bare and two wins in Big Ten play this year is about the best we can hope for.

  • MillaRed

    Confirms that high level management across the country, NCAA or not have no clue what is going on in the real world. If I was a student/alumni I would be completely PO’d. I love what JoPa has done but good grief, he’s 111 years old and still making millions.

    Truly an embarrassment for the program. I’m embarrassed just reading it.

  • Anonymous

    Initially, I felt that it could be perceived as a black eye on the conference, but the more I thought about it, I don’t think that is a fair assessment.

    Every BCS conference has at least one “doormat” school in football and basketball.  In the Big Ten, PSU, NW and Nebraska now, will be perennially at or near the bottom of the conference.  Every now and then they will have a good season by their standards, but for the most part, they are bottom feeders (see IU in football).

    Judging an entire conference based on one of the bottom feeders in a particular sport is not smart.  We don’t judge the ACC in football based on Duke, or the Big East in basketball based on DePaul.  It is embarrassing for PSU, but not the Big Ten, because most people aren’t paying attention to the PSU basketball program.

  • Anonymous

    I think being an MSU assistant may be better for a career than PSU head coach

  • Anonymous

    Why would you say Penn St is a joke in basketball when Indiana finished dead last in the Big 10 and PSU made the tourney?  Right now, Indiana is a joke in basketball.

  • Glawton12

    As someone who spent last year as a student at Penn State I can tell you they very truly do not care about their basketball program.  Given the position Dechellis was in this move isn’t surprising, but the timing of it is.  It tells me that either Dechellis just now found a school interested in his services or that Penn State was stringing him along with the possibility of an extension (likely the former, not the latter).  Regardless, since PSU is likely to lose not only recruits, but possibly returning players, AND noting they lose the majority of their talent with this past senior class, I don’t see how PSU wins more than 1 Big Ten game, if that.  Anyone that’s interested in knowing just how poorly the hoops program is run in happy valley should read this: http://espn.go.com/blog/collegebasketballnation/post/_/id/31288/the-ball-is-in-penn-states-court

    Dechellis bolting for Navy isn’t embarrassing to the conference, but Penn State’s apathy toward basketball is.

  • Torrence Gill

    It is hard to win and recruit basketball to happy valley! HARD!!!
    I’m glad Dechellis did what he felt was right. Best of luck to him at Navy!

  • Torrence Gill

    It is hard to win and recruit basketball to happy valley! HARD!!!
    I’m glad Dechellis did what he felt was right. Best of luck to him at Navy!

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