Jim Ferry wasn't the problem at Duquesne

posted by Adam Crowley -

The past 5 times that Duquesne has beat Pitt, they fired their head coach. Duquesne beat Pitt this year, and they fired head coach Jim Ferry. I'll be up front and honest with you, I really like Jim Ferry as a guy.

The last two years, I was the host of the Jim Ferry show on ESPN Pittsburgh. I got to know him a little bit. He thought the program was moving in the right direction. Last year, injuries really hurt the team. This year, they were young.

Jim was 52-15 his last two years at Long Island. He made the NCAA tournament two years in a row. He was 22-8 in his one year at Plymouth State. He was 82-11 at Adelphi. Did he bust his head on one of the ancient seats at the A.J. Palumbo Center? Did Jim Ferry just forget how to coach? He had to have, right? He forgot everything he ever knew about coaching...Or so it seems. 

Duquesne has had one basketball coach finish with a .500 record since 1982. Has every coach since 1982 sucked? No. Duquesne plays in one of the best mid major conferences in the country…Yet zero money is put into the basketball program. None. Look at the facilities. Then go check out the atmosphere at St. Boneventure, Dayton, and VCU.

If Duquesne is serious about winning basketball games, then they need to remember who they are. It was outrageous at the time when Duquesne fired Ron Everhart, who had Duquesne above .500 in 5 of the 6 years that he coached them. He made the CBI twice, and the NIT once in 2009. In 2009, he was 21-13 and 9-7 in conference play.

Not only should Everhart never have been fired, the dude should have had the gym named after him. Duquesne is going to be bad at basketball until they decide that they don’t want to be bad at basketball.

Are they just that damn unlucky? Do they keep hiring bad coaches? No. It’s impossible to win when a University doesn’t make a commitment.

So here’s what Duquesne needs to do; decide if they want to be a real player or not. Because it seems to me like they want to act like a real basketball program, without actually being a real basketball program.

The fired the coach. Great. It was all Jim Ferry’s fault. Just like it was all Ron Everharts fault. If Duquesne wants to be taken seriously, then money needs to be spent. A commitment to excellence has to be made.

Duquesne needs to figure it out. Do they want to spend money and try to be competitive? Or do they want to fire a coach every five years in perpetuity.

 Thumbnail Image courtesy of Getty Images.

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