University Park, Pa. — Penn State has extended the contract of men\’s basketball head coach Ed DeChellis adding two years to his original contract signed in 2003. Director of Athletics Tim Curley announced today that he and DeChellis have agreed on a contract replacing his current pact that will keep him at the helm of the Nittany Lion program through the 2010-11 season. In keeping with University policy, specific terms of the agreement were not released.
\”We are very excited with the direction coach DeChellis has our men\’s basketball program heading and are pleased that he will continue to lead the program into the future,\” Curley said. \”Ed has energized the program and the Penn State basketball community and the team has made great strides in his first three years. We believe he and his staff have laid the ground work for continued success both on and off the court for years to come.\”
\”I appreciate the contract extension and the confidence that Dr. Spanier and Tim (Curley) have shown in me, my staff and the program,\” DeChellis said. \”I\’m proud of what our players are accomplishing on the floor and in the classroom. We have built a foundation for a program that will continue to grow as we work towards our goal of winning a Big Ten championship.\”
DeChellis, who was named the 2006 National Coaches vs. Cancer Man of the Year for his service in the community, guided the Nittany Lions to their most successful campaign in five years last season. The youngest and smallest team in the Big Ten in 2005-06, Penn State posted a 15-15 record, more than doubling its win total from the previous season, won a Big Ten Tournament game, and hosted an opening round NIT game vs. Rutgers, Penn State\’s first post-season win and appearance in five years. The Nittany Lions 6-10 Big Ten record was their best in five years and their three Big Ten road wins equaled the most ever in program history and tied for third among all Big Ten teams. No road win was bigger than the 66-65 upset of No. 6-ranked Illinois in Champaign that ended the Illini\’s 33-game home court win streak, then the nation\’s longest, and marked the highest ranked road opponent beaten in program history.
DeChellis has had a player named to the Big Ten All-Freshman team in each of his first three seasons and Jamelle Cornley was named the 2006 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, the first such selections in program history. Junior Geary Claxton posted the highest scoring average (15.5 ppg) for a Nittany Lion in five years and was named to the USBWA All-District I team and third team All-Big Ten, Penn State\’s first such selections in five years. DeChellis\’ squad posted the highest scoring average (67.4 ppg), three-point percentage (35.4 percent), fewest turnovers (12.6 tpg) and most steals (7.1 spg) in five seasons and best field goal percentage (43.9 percent) in six and most assists per game (15.7 apg) in eight.
The Nittany Lions return four starters, 10 lettermen and 80 percent or more of their scoring, rebounding, assists, steals and blocks for the 2006-07 campaign.