The Duquesne Dukes have been unsuccessful in finding their next head coach after striking out with multiple candidates these last few weeks. Head coach Jim Ferry was fired shortly after this year’s Atlantic 10 Tournament after 5 seasons with the Dukes. This year’s team went 10-22 and finished last in the conference, Jim Ferry’s worst season as Duquesne’s head coach since inheriting the job back in 2012.
Duquesne had a very good potential coaching option in King Rice from Monmouth. Rice has now won 55 games in his last two seasons and won two regular season MAAC titles in a row. An up-and-coming coach like Rice seemed like the perfect candidate to turn this program around, but Rice turned down the Duquesne job and elected to stay at Monmouth where he’s still looking for an NCAA Tournament bid.
It was recently announced that Michigan State assistant Dan Fife would not be taking the head coaching job either. Fife had head coaching experience at IPFW and has been a part of a winning culture with the Spartans, but he is not interested in becoming Duquesne’s next head coach. John Becker from Vermont, a team that went undefeated in the American East this season and gave Purdue a run for its money, will also stay at his school.
Duquesne swings and misses at three great candidates unfortunately, but there still remain a lot of options. James Whitford has been talked about as a potential option as well. The head coach from Ball State doesn’t seem like as great of an option as the other candidates, but he’d certainly fill the void and hopefully get this team moving in the right direction. Sources have reported that the two sides met last night, but nothing is done.
Duquesne has not hired Ball State’s James Whitford, per multiple sources. Two sides are meeting tonight, but nothing is done.
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) March 24, 2017
Duquesne is a program that really needs fixing, and it’s going to take a dedicated coach that can recruit and teach his players to win games. That was something that Jim Ferry struggled with immensely last season. This team blew a lot of leads and only won a few conference games because of it. We undoubtedly saw this Duquesne team to be a lot more talented than its record displays. The Dukes need someone who can harness that talent (especially that of the rising sophomores), and turn that into a team that starts to win here and there.