Danowski Would Entertain Rutgers Offer
Would John Danowski leave Duke for Rutgers? He hinted Saturday that he would at least be willing to listen.
The Blue Devils' 9-4 loss to Maryland in the NCAA semifinals ended Danowski's fifth season at the helm. Duke has been to the final four every season since Danowski took over in Durham amidst the false rape scandal that forced out former coach Mike Pressler. The Blue Devils won their first national championship in 2010, but Danowski's most masterful work might have been this season, leading them back to the final four without the star power that defined previous Duke teams and with several freshmen playing in key spots.
Rutgers is rumored to be willing to invest significant resources in landing a big-name coach who will help convince top-flight New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia recruits to stay local and raise the Scarlet Knights' profile in the Big East Conference. In an interview with MyCentralJersey.com, Rutgers athletic director Tim Pernetti said he wants the Scarlet Knights to be perennial top-20 national contenders like they were when Hall of Famer Tom Hayes coached the team from 1975 to 2000.
Rutgers' 6-9 season this spring proved to be the last straw for Jim Stagnitta, the coach who replaced Hayes but has been unable to sustain success since NCAA tournament appearances in 2003 and 2004. Stagnitta was forced to resign May 16, as Rutgers joined Towson (Tony Seaman) and Navy (Richie Meade) on the coaching carousel.
Danowski played for Hayes at Rutgers. Asked how he would respond if Rutgers called on him as a potential candidate, he replied, "None of us got into this business to achieve financial security. We all got into this business because we couldn't play anymore. You can't play anymore, so you coach. Or you love teaching. But I think everybody's got to listen, because you have an opportunity to put your family in a better position. It's not going to be surprising with a lot of [searches] going forward with a lot of guys. It's just how it is."