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April 20, 2012

Everhart, Huggins have not discussed opening at WVU

MORGANTOWN — Ron Everhart says he has not talked to West Virginia University basketball coach Bob Huggins about the opening created on Huggins’ staff when Jerrod Calhoun left to take the head coaching job at Fairmont State and indicated he’s not sure what direction his career will take from here.

Everhart and Huggins are close friends, the Fairmont native hitchhiking to Morgantown as a youth to help Huggins work out when Huggins was a player at WVU, so it was natural that his name would be linked with the job.

Everhart was fired on March 22 by Duquesne, after having taken over a team that won three games the previous season and lifting it into the nation’s Top 25 by the 2010-11 season. In six years with the Dukes, Everhart was 99-89 and recorded a 16-15 record his final season.

“I’m approaching this very patiently,” Everhart said Thursday morning. “This is the first time in my life I haven’t had a job. I’m just trying to get it figured out. I’ve never been here before so I don’t know. One of the things I don’t want to do is jump back into something that doesn’t make sense.”

That only makes sense. If you don’t have any shoes, the solution doesn’t come by putting a pair that don’t fit.

“Maybe it’s basketball that doesn’t fit. Maybe it’s time to go a different direction. I don’t know,” Everhart said, quite surprisingly.

“I’ve never done anything else my whole life since fourth grade. College I played, the day after college I’m an assistant coach at Georgia Tech. Not one day have I not been on a team, not been part of it, not working in the game, so it’s pretty tough.

“I’ll get it figured out, but it’s going to take a little time.”

This is not the first time Everhart was in a position to join Huggins. That came about just before he became head coach at Northeastern after having been named the Southland Conference’s Coach of the Year.

“I never gave any consideration to taking an assistant coaching position,” Everhart told Angela Lento of CollegeInsider.com in 2004. “Often coaches move up by leaving their head job for an assistant’s position at a high profile school, but it wasn’t something that interested me at all. But when Bobby (Huggins) called me, I was intrigued.”

Huggins was at Cincinnati then, having just lost assistant Dan Peters to Thad Matta at Ohio State.

“We all have people in our lives that you respect so much that you listen to them regardless of what they are talking about,” says Everhart. “Huggs is one of those people for me. Having known him for so many years, the possibility of joining his staff was very intriguing.”

Interestingly, that’s when Huggins hired Frank Martin at Cincinnati, bringing him to Kansas State when he went there, eventually to have him replace him as coach when Huggins came to West Virginia.

Everhart admitted when he was at Northeastern that he seriously considered Huggins’ offer.

“I was very close to going to Cincinnati,” Everhart said then. “Ultimately it came down to my commitment to my players and to Northeastern. All the things I have learned from Bobby are what kept me here.”

None of those things now exist.

Email Bob Hertzel at bhertzel@hotmail.com. Follow on Twitter @at twitter.com/bhertzel

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