DeRose accepts CU hoops offer

Published 9:48 am Thursday, April 8, 2010

MURFREESBORO – Chowan University introduced Dan DeRose as the school’s new Men’s Basketball Coach here Wednesday afternoon.

The successful community college coach and his family were on hand at the Helms Center to greet a group of reporters and well-wishers as he officially took over the reins of the Hawks’ Men’s Basketball program.

“You don’t know how excited I am to be here,” DeRose told the crowd.

The new coach was introduced by Chowan University President Dr. M. Chris White and Athletic Director Dennis Helsel, bringing to a close a month-long search.

DeRose comes to Chowan after serving for one year as an assistant coach at Seton Hill University in Pennsylvania. Before that, he served for six years as Head Coach of the Community College of Beaver County (Pennsylvania).

During his stint at CCBC, DeRose led his teams to six consecutive 20-win seasons and earned 15 coaching awards. He posted an overall record of 139-45. He won two Pennsylvania Community College state championships and finished as runner up on four other occasions.

Helsel said all of DeRose’s qualifications were impressive, but it was his interview that sealed his hiring. DeRose was the third prospect that was brought to the campus, but was the only person offered the position.

“If you talk to anyone who met them, the first two candidates were good coaches, but they didn‘t blow me away,” Helsel said. “Dr. White and I felt like they were both good coaches, but we wanted more. When we met Coach DeRose, he had a fire in his belly and we knew we found the right guy.”

For his part, DeRose said he and his family knew they were interested in relocating to Murfreesboro after their visit to Chowan for the interview.

“Everyone was so friendly when we came down; they made us feel at home,” DeRose said. “When we left we said this is the place we wanted to start a new life.”

DeRose said he was drawn to Chowan because of the school’s president and athletic director.

“When you see the passion they have for basketball, you want to be a part of it,” DeRose said. “I felt like I had the opportunity to be part of something special.”

The new coach said he was not only excited about the men’s basketball program, but about the university itself.

“They’re winners and you can tell that by what they’ve done with the school itself,” DeRose said. “They are excited not only about athletics, but about everything that is happening here at the university. If there was a chance to be part of that, why would we not want to do that?”

Helsel said DeRose has also shared with him the strong initial impression he had received concerning the first meeting with the basketball team members.

“He told me after meeting them that he could tell what a good group of young men they were and that he was excited about the possibility of becoming part of that family,” Helsel said.

Helsel said the search was concluded thanks to the help of many members of the community and the Chowan staff. He thanked Edward Vaughan, Stan Dixon, Tommy Forbes and Bruce Brown for their service on the committee.

“You should be very proud of the student-athletes on the men’s basketball team,” Helsel said. “They took this process very seriously.”

The AD also thanked Jim Hammond, an assistant men’s basketball coach, for his service to the team during the transition.

Dr. White said the new men’s coach had to meet certain criteria and that he felt DeRose succeeded.

“They had to have proven head coaching experience, be a proven winner and be enthusiastic and energetic,” Dr. White said. “I believe Coach DeRose has all three.”

DeRose thanked Dr. White and Helsel for his opportunity to coach the Hawks and promised the Chowan faithful he would work diligently to make the Hawks the best they could be.

“I can promise you this – I will work extra hard and be a very passionate basketball coach,” DeRose said. “I will bring excitement and you can hold me to that.”

The coach did say he had already begun working the recruiting trail, even before an agreement was signed for him to become the coach.

“Recruiting has already started,” he said. “We have been in contact with eight kids and have four verbal commitments right now.

“I started working the phone when I left here,” he added. “I’m very excited.”

The coach will return to Chowan to work from Murfreesboro later this month and anticipates moving during the summer. He replaces Jim Tribbett who served seven seasons as the Men’s Basketball Coach.

DeRose will be joined by his wife of 14 years, Valerie, and their daughter, Shea Marie.