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The new coach, Dru Joyce III, wants to show his appreciation for the support from Duquesne

The last time Duquesne hired a men's basketball coach from its own program, it didn't end well.

The last time Duquesne hired a men’s basketball coach from inside its own program, things didn’t turn out well.

However, things are different now and Duquesne has the advantage.

Dru Joyce III has the advantage now.

Duquesne athletic director Dave Harper mentioned that it's a different approach when introducing Joyce as the Dukes’ 18th head coach.

Joyce, who was an associate head coach to Keith Dambrot for the past two seasons, is confident that history won't repeat itself.

Joyce expressed confidence in the support from the President, athletic department, and Dave Harper to maintain the winning spirit and competitive drive.

He emphasized the need to work together.

It hasn’t always been this way, though others have tried.

Joyce believes that previous attempts by other coaches may not have gone as planned.

In 1999, City League legend and ex-Pitt star Darelle Porter took over as head coach at Duquesne after being on Scott Edgar’s staff. Porter, like Joyce, had no prior head coaching experience.

During Porter's three years, there was no improvement in Duquesne’s fortunes amid a decades-long run of futility for the program.

Porter finished with a 23-64 record, while Edgar was 29-55 in the same period.

The departure of Dambrot signaled a change in philosophy for Duquesne athletics.

Dambrot was making significantly more money than previous coaches like Porter.

It’s too early to say what Joyce's salary is, but it's likely more than what previous coaches were making.



President Gormley emphasized that hiring Dambrot was part of rebuilding the program from the ground up.

Several other Duquesne assistants have served as head coaches, with some successful outcomes during the "glory days."

Harper understands the changing landscape of college athletics.

Harper acknowledged the difference in supporting a first-time head coach.

Harper is familiar with the past. He believes it needs to be done correctly this time, like it worked out for Dambrot and his team. Harper is confident it will be successful. But he emphasized the need for a supportive system in place.

“I’m going to push myself. I'm going to push our sports department team to strive for the best so that the coaches and players can succeed,” Harper stated. “That's our main goal.”

He then addressed Joyce, who was sitting nearby at Duquesne’s Student Union, and he made a sincere promise that would excite even the most doubtful fans.

“Dru, I'm fully committing to you, in front of witnesses,” Harper declared. “So you know that I will support you. There will be tough days, tough games. Every coach experiences them. But we will overcome them. We will perform well, and we will continue to strive for the postseason. That's our purpose for being here.”

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