Chowan hires new head hoops coach

Published 8:02 am Friday, April 9, 2010

MURFREESBORO, N.C.–Chowan University introduced Dan DeRose as the school’s new men’s basketball coach Tuesday.

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

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

DeRose replaces Jim Tribbett, who served eight seasons as the coach.

Chowan University President Dr. M. Chris White and Athletic Director Dennis Helsel introduced DeRose, bringing a monthlong search to a close.

DeRose was an assistant coach at Seton Hill University in Pennsylvania for one year. Before that, he served for six years as head coach of the Community College of Beaver County, Penna.

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.

The coach has begun recruiting.

“We have been in contact with eight kids and have four verbal commitments right now,” DeRose said. “I started working the phone when I left here. I’m very excited.”

The coach will return to Chowan to work from Murfreesboro later this month and anticipates moving during the summer.

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