The Patriot-News of Harrisburg was the first to report Penn State Nittany Lions Coach Ed DeChellis is leaving Happy Valley for the vacant college basketball coaching position at the Naval Academy. A media conference is scheduled shortly from now Monday evening. It will be DeChellis’ first* public comment on the matter.
It’s quite surprising, since DeChellis just led his alma mater’s to their first NCAA bid in a decade. The Nittany Lions lost to Temple, 66-64, in their first tourney game.
DeChellis’ eight-year run at Penn State includes the 2009 NIT championship, which tied the school record for wins. He was rewarded with a three-extension that ran until 2014. It’s definitely a step down in profile, and perhaps in salary as well; an open records request in 2009 showed DeChellis made more than $642,000.
The school released a statement preceding the news conference.
“On behalf of the Penn State and State College communities, I would like to offer my sincere appreciation to Ed DeChellis and his staff for their efforts with the men’s basketball program the past eight years. Ed and his staff built a strong foundation for the program and then were able to see all their tireless efforts result in winning the 2009 NIT Championship and advancing to the Big Ten Tournament championship game and the NCAA Tournament this past season.”
“We will quickly begin a national search for new leadership for the Nittany Lion Basketball program. It will be a comprehensive search focused on finding the best candidate to lead Penn State Basketball into the future.”
By Paul Banks – The Sports Bank