Head men’s basketball coach Keith Dambrot officially announced five members of his 2017-18 coaching staff today.
Assistant coaches Terry Weigand, Rick McFadden and Charles Thomas as well as director of operations Steve McNees all played for Dambrot. The four – along with video coordinator Eric Harper – were all part of Dambrot’s staff for multiple seasons at Akron.
“Continuity and loyalty are very important to me,” said Dambrot. “There are very few staffs in the country – if any – who can say that their top four assistants all played for the head coach. That’s a key component in understanding how we’ve been successful and what kind of players are successful in our program. We have a commitment to one another that is unique to our staff. Every member of this staff played a key role in our success at Akron and I look for that to continue here at Duquesne.”
Weigand’s relationship with Dambrot dates to his playing days at Tiffin University in 1985. The Barberton, Ohio native got his start in coaching under Dambrot at Ashland University in 1990 & 1991. Weigand served as head coach at Ashland and assistant coach at Mount Union before reuniting with Dambrot on the staff at Akron in 2004-05.
McFadden, who played on Dambrot’s first team at Akron, is in his 13th year on his former coach’s staff. The Struthers, Ohio native has served as Dambrot’s recruiting coordinator for the past nine years.
A two-sport Division I athlete, McFadden spent his first two years of college as a quarterback at Ohio State, before transferring to Akron where he set a then-school single-season record for 3-point percentage in 2003-04.
Thomas, who played collegiately at Eastern Michigan, has been part of Dambrot’s staff for the past seven seasons. Before joining the coaching ranks, Thomas spent 15 years playing professionally in the U.S. and abroad. He started his pro career with the NBA Detroit Pistons (1991-93) before spending six seasons in the CBA. He continued playing overseas until 2006. Thomas helped lead Eastern Michigan, and then-assistant coach Keith Dambrot – to its first Mid-American Conference championship in 1988. The Dayton, Ohio native coached at Radford and Northwood before joining the staff at Akron.
McNees, a four-year letterman for Dambrot at Akron, is in his sixth season on his former head coach’s staff.
The New Castle, Pa. native played in a school-record 141 games in helping the Zips to two MAC tournament titles and ensuing NCAA tournament appearances (2009 & 2011). He was also part of Akron’s 2008 NIT team and 2010 CBI squad.
McNees is a 2006 graduate of nearby Shenango High School, where he played for his father, Bill, who won 312 games in 25 years at SHS. A four-year starter, Steve finished his career tied for 15th in WPIAL history with 2,192 points and with school records for points, assists (824) and steals (233). He was named to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Fabulous 5 in 2006.
Harper, a native of McDonald, Ohio, spent three seasons as a student manager on the Akron staff before serving as the program’s first undergraduate video coordinator from 2013-15. Upon graduation in May of 2015, Harper was named operations assistant. This will be his sixth season under Dambrot.