Everhart Named Assistant Coach
Everhart, 50, has compiled a 273-261 record in 18 seasons as a head coach at Duquesne, Northeastern and McNeese State.
“We are really excited to bring Ronnie home,” says Huggins. “I have always admired the way Ronnie has coached his teams from McNeese State to Northeastern to Duquesne, and the quality of players he has always been able to attract. Ron and I go back some 40 years when I was a player here. Obviously, he will be easily recognized and respected throughout the state of West Virginia.”
The Fairmont, W.Va., native comes to West Virginia from Duquesne, where he spent the last six seasons as head coach and led the Dukes to consecutive postseason appearances in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
“Coach Huggins has been a mentor and big brother to me since I was a young kid,” says Everhart. “I have always admired him and have great respect for him. Coach Huggins is a Hall of Fame coach and an even better person. I’m honored to have this opportunity.”
At Duquesne (2007-12), he took a floundering program - one that won just three games in 2005-06 - to one that finished six points shy of an NCAA tournament bid in 2008-09 and was tied for first in the Atlantic 10 and receiving votes in the AP Top 25 at the midpoint of the 2010-11 season.
After ending a streak of 13 consecutive losing seasons with a 17-13 record in 2007-08, Everhart's Dukes posted a 21-13 mark in earning an NIT appearance in 2009. In 2010, Duquesne won 16 games in earning a College Basketball Invitational bid. In 2011, DU reeled off 11 wins in a row - including the first eight in Atlantic 10 play - and received votes in the Associated Press Top 25 for three consecutive weeks before finishing 19-13 and earning a second consecutive CBI bid. Everhart was named NABC District 4 Coach of the Year for his effort.
His rebuilding effort at Duquesne took a great leap forward in 2008-09 as the Dukes finished 21-13 and made a National Invitation Tournament appearance. The 21 wins were the most since 1970-71, and the NIT bid marked Duquesne's first postseason appearance since 1993-94. The 2008-09 season ended with a run to the Atlantic 10 Championship title game where the Dukes, who were picked to finish 12th in a preseason poll of league coaches, dropped a 69-64 decision to Temple.
The finish was more surprising considering the Dukes began the season as one of the youngest teams in NCAA Division I with eight scholarship freshmen and one scholarship upperclassman on the opening day roster.
Along the way, the Dukes defeated four NCAA tournament teams and posted a winning record in Atlantic 10 play (9-7) for just the fourth time in 32 seasons as a conference member.
The `09 Dukes ended a 24-game losing streak against ranked teams with a 72-68 win over No. 9 (AP) Xavier during the regular season. It was DU's first win over a ranked team since 1997 and first over a top 10 team since 1992. The ninth-ranked Musketeers were also the highest ranked team to fall to Duquesne since 1974.
Two years ago, the Dukes jumped into the upper echelon of the Atlantic 10 in earning one of four opening round byes at the A-10 Championship in Atlantic City. The '11 Dukes, who led the nation in assists (17.8), steals (9.9) and turnover margin (+6.7) went on to post the school's first postseason win since the 1994 with a CBI first round win at Montana. Duquesne was the only team in the tournament to win a road game.
In 2007-08, Everhart led the Dukes to the school's first winning record in 14 seasons with a 17-13 mark. The `08 Dukes ranked in the top 10 nationally in blocked shots (7.3, 3rd), assists (18.1, 3rd), scoring (82.3, 5th) and steals (9.4, 9th) in setting school single-season records for blocks (220), assists (539) and steals (283). The `08 Dukes put together winning streaks of six and five games, marking the first time since 1961-62 that a Duquesne team had two streaks of five or more wins in the same year. DU, which opened the season with six straight wins for the school's best start since 1979-80, went 11-4 at home. It was just the second time in the past 27 years that a Duquesne team won 11 or more at home.
Everhart, who inherited a program coming off a school record-worst 3-24 season (308 RPI) in 2005-06, started from the ground up, totally retooling the roster in his first six weeks on the job. The nine first-year scholarship players Everhart brought to Pittsburgh were just getting acquainted when the program was dealt an unprecedented blow as five players were injured in a shooting less than a month before the opening of practice. The Dukes picked up the pieces to post 10 wins, tie a 26-year-old school record for consecutive Atlantic 10 victories (five) and rank 21st nationally in scoring offense at 78.3 points per game.
The Duquesne story of perseverance was acknowledged by the United States Basketball Writers Association, which honored the 2006-07 Dukes with its Most Courageous Award presented annually to honor "a player, coach, official or administrator who has demonstrated extraordinary courage reflecting honor on the sport of amateur basketball."
At Northeastern (2002-06), he inherited a program that averaged fewer than nine wins in the six seasons prior to his arrival and produced 19, 21 and 19 victories in his final three years. In his five seasons at Northeastern, the Huskies averaged 16.4 wins.
His 2004-05 team, which finished second in the America East Conference with a 15-3 record (21-10 overall), advanced to the postseason conference tournament championship game where it lost to NCAA Tournament Cinderella Vermont. The `05 Huskies went on to earn an NIT bid - marking Northeastern's first postseason appearance in 14 years.
In 2005-06, he led the Huskies to a 19-11 record and 12-6 mark in the Colonial Athletic Association. His starting point guard, Jose Juan Barea, was named CAA Player of the Year and forward Shawn James earned Defensive Player of the Year honors.
At McNeese State (1995-2001), Everhart ended a streak of six consecutive sub-.500 seasons by leading the Cowboys to a 15-12 mark in 1995-96 - his second season at the Lake Charles, La., school. His seven-year stay culminated with a 22-9 record and Southland Conference regular-season title in 2000-01. The 2000-01 Cowboys, who won 19 of their last 20 games before losing the Southland Conference championship game by a point, earned the school's first postseason bid in 12 years when they accepted an invitation to the NIT.
Prior to accepting the head coaching job at McNeese State, Everhart spent six seasons as an assistant under Perry Clark at Tulane.
At Tulane (1988-94), Everhart played a major role in resurrecting a Green Wave program that had disbanded from 1985-86 through 1988-89. He recruited three straight Metro Conference Freshman of the Year award-winners and accompanied the Green Wave to NCAA Tournament appearances in 1991-92 and 1992-93.
A 1985 graduate of Virginia Tech, Everhart got his start as a college coach as a graduate assistant for Bobby Cremins' 1985-86 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 Georgia Tech team. He then moved on to Virginia Military Institute for two seasons (1986-87 and 1987-88) before arriving at Tulane.
Everhart played his final season of high school basketball for the legendary Morgan Wootten at DeMatha Catholic High in Hyattsville, Md., where he earned first team Catholic Prep All-America honors. Prior to attending DeMatha, Everhart was a basketball and baseball letterman at his hometown Fairmont West High.
Everhart was a four-year letterman at Virginia Tech and served as captain of the Hokies’ 1984-85 NCAA Tournament team. He graduated from Tech in 1985 with a bachelor of arts degree in political science.
Everhart and his wife, Mirchana, who was born and raised in Grafton, W.Va., are the parents of twins Ronnie and Gianna.
“I’m very excited to be back home and working at West Virginia University,” says Everhart. “I’m very proud to be a Marion County native and my wife is from Taylor County. We possibly couldn’t imagine being in a better situation.”
West Virginia University Mountaineers, WVU, Ron Everhart, Big 12 men's basketball
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