Zips' sports beat writer George Thomas from the Akron Beacon Journal spoke about the departure of former University of Akron head coach Keith Dambrot to coach the men's team at Duquesne.
Former University of Akron basketball player and Buchtel High grad Matt Futch joined the Sam and Brad Show to talk about the departure of Keith Dambrot from the University of Akron basketball program after 13 seasons.
Futch played at Akron from 2002-06 and was an assistant coach under Dambrot from 2011-13.
After 305 wins and four trips to the NCAA Tournament in 13 years, Keith Dambrot is heading eastbound on Interstate 76. Dambrot, the now-former head coach of the Akron Zips, joined the Ray Horner Morning Show to talk about his decision to guide the Duquesne Dukes. Duquesne is familiar territory for Dambrot, as his father played there and his mother is from the Pittsburgh area. According to Dambrot, leaving the University of Akron was “the toughest decision I’ve ever made in my life, to be perfectly frank about it.” He said he was not looking around for other jobs, but the timing was right to try to turn another program around. It will be a seven-year, $7 million contract for the 58-year-old Dambrot.
Dambrot is 59 and says he doesn't want to be coaching into his 70s or 80s, and looks at the rebuilding of the Duquesne program as a great opportunity. "The timing was right and I would take one more fling to turn another program around," Dambrot said.
LISTEN to the full Dambrot interview with WAKR's Ray Horner below.
Fan or no fan -- you have to feel sad when a member of the family leaves. And Keith Dambrot is a member of the Akron family, with deep roots in the community and University. The long-time basketball head coach is heading east, to Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, for a reported seven year, seven million dollar deal.
Dambrot led the Zips to their winningest season in history, but fell to Kent State in the MAC title game; that loss scrubbed any hopes of a March Madness berth. Akron went two rounds before falling in the NIT.
- - -
(University of Akron) Earlier tonight, The University of Akron was informed that current men's basketball Coach Keith Dambrot has accepted the position as head basketball coach at Duquesne University.
The University has issued the following statement from UA Athletic Director Larry Williams and it is being shared with you at this time:
"We are very grateful for the enormous contributions that Coach Keith Dambrot has made to our excellent men's basketball program. His hard work with our student-athletes combined with their dedication to going the extra mile have brought great success to The University of Akron – including the winningest season in UA history – and we value his role in making that happen. He and the Dambrot family will always be a part of The University of Akron family, and we wish him well as he moves along.
We will immediately launch a national search for our new basketball coach and we reaffirm our commitment to building our basketball program and all of Akron Athletics into a nationally recognized program across the board. In addition to finding a new coach, we are working to be in a position to upgrade the James A. Rhodes Arena and we will need to rely on support from the community to achieve that goal."
Mike Vukovcan from PittsburghSportsNow came on with Sam Bourquin and Brad Russell on Monday to speak about a meeting between Dambrot and Duquesne administration in Pittsburgh in regards to the school's coaching vacancy with their men's basketball team.
Dambrot is the Zips' all-time winningest coach and guided the team to an NIT berth and a 27-9 record in 2016-17.
The contract is reportedly worth 7 years, $7 million.
WAKR will keep you updated on this developing story.