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Friday, March 23, 2012 12:50 p.m.

Duquesne fires men’s basketball head coach

Junior forward David Pellom leaps for a basket against Duquesne Feb. 25. | Hatchet File Photo

Updated 1:03 p.m.

Duquesne fired its men’s basketball coach Ron Everhart today because of high player turnover and the team’s record in the A 10.

CBSSports.com obtained a copy of the e-mail Duquesne president Charles J. Dougherty sent to members of the university’s board explaining the decision to fire Everhart.

“We reached the conclusion that this kind of [successful] performance was impossible under his leadership due to uneven recruiting, large turnovers among his student athletes and coaching staff, an overall average win-loss record and a losing record in the A10, poor performance in close games, the predictable collapse of our teams late in the season, and a general disorganization and lack of communication that is clear to those close to the program,” the e-mail said. “The recent loss of T.J. McConnell and other players from the team is part of an unfortunate pattern and an indication of the current decline in our program.”

McConnell, one of the team’s star players, announced his departure earlier this week. Sophomore guard Mike Talley and freshman forward Danny Herrera also asked to be released from the program. The three departures brought the total number of players who left the team while Everhart was the head coach to 20, with 16 being transfers, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports.

Everhart was named the head coach in March 2006, following the worst season in program history, when the Dukes went just 3-24. He earned a 99-89 overall record while at the helm of the men’s basketball program.

“I want to thank Duquesne university for a great opportunity,” Everhart said in a statement. “I am very proud of the significant improvements the program made in the past six years. I am also very proud of those who played for me– both for the awards and honors they were able to achieve and for the way they represented the university.”

The Dukes compiled a 16-15 record over the 2011-12 season, and were seeded ninth for the A-10 tournament before falling in the first round to Massachusetts. It was the team’s third consecutive defeat in the first round. The Colonials hosted Duquesne Feb. 25, earning a narrow 56-51 victory over the Dukes.

Duquesne is now the second Atlantic 10 men’s basketball program that will see changes in its coaching staff next season, after Rhode Island replaced Baron with Dan Hurley earlier this week.