Ed DeChellis Steps Down
It seems nobody saw this coming.
Late Monday afternoon, word trickled out that Ed DeChellis ’82, the Penn State men’s basketball coach for the past eight years, was leaving to take over at Navy. That news was confirmed at a press conference Monday night, when DeChellis met the media to explain his decision. It was an emotional, occasionally contentious 15 minutes, but it left no doubt that the move is one DeChellis felt compelled to make.
You can read DeChellis’ official statement here, but the full audio of his Monday night presser is more revealing. Nearly breaking down at times, the coach said he felt the call of duty from the Naval Academy, and that the call was too loud to ignore. “Like this is something I needed to do,” DeChellis said, “somewhere I needed to be.” Anyone who knows DeChellis knows he’s a man for whom words like “honor” and “integrity” seem to hold real meaning, and he insisted that his decision had nothing to do with any issues at Penn State.
That didn’t stop speculation among fans and media, some of the most pointed of which you can read in the Patriot-News and on ESPN.com. DeChellis is moving to a lower-profile job at a substantial pay cut, but he waved off any suggestion that his decision was motivated by a perceived lack of support for men’s basketball at Penn State. “It’s a great job,” he said. “This is about what I wanted to do with my life.”
DeChellis leaves his alma mater with a record of 114-138 in eight seasons. The record wasn’t what the coach or Penn State fans had hoped for, but DeChellis leaves with some impressive entries on his resume: The 2009 NIT championship (the first postseason tournament title in program history), a 2011 NCAA tournament berth, and having recruited and coached Talor Battle ’11, arguably the best player in Nittany Lion history. He was also named 2009 Big Ten Coach of the Year. A cancer survivor, DeChellis was heavily involved with the national Coaches v. Cancer program, and was named that organization’s Man of the Year in 2006.
Athletic director Tim Curley ’76, ’78 MEd said the University will immediately begin a national search for DeChellis’ replacement.
Ryan Jones, senior editor