Danny Nee, who was named the 14th head coach in Duquesne basketball history in the spring of 2001, brings with him a proven track record for pumping life into ailing basketball programs, having revitalized the fortunes of both Ohio University and the University of Nebraska in previous stops.
The Brooklyn, N.Y. native, who topped the 400-career win mark in 2004-05, will be starting his fifth season at Duquesne this fall.
"The core of our program is based on character and quality kids who respect Duquesne and really want to be at Duquesne," says Nee. "They want to be here for the right reasons: to get an education, to play ball and get better. We want good people who are good students and good players - and we feel we're getting very close to that."
Success is nothing new to the Brooklyn, New York native, who has compiled a 407-357 (.533) record as a head coach at Ohio, Nebraska, Robert Morris and Duquesne. He has guided his teams to a total of seven NCAA and seven National Invitation Tournaments in his 25 seasons as a head coach. His teams have averaged 16.3 wins per season and won 20 or more games 11 times.
Prior to his stint at Robert Morris, Nee spent 14 years as head coach at the University of Nebraska (1986-00), where he broke Joe Cipriano's school record for wins with 254. Nebraska, which made one NCAA Tournament appearance in 48 seasons prior to Nee's arrival, earned five NCAA Tournament bids under Nee. The Cornhuskers, who won 20 games in a season just four times in 98 previous seasons, won 20 or more games seven times under the guidance of Nee.
Nee's first head coaching job was at Ohio University from 1980-86. In six seasons with the Bobcats, he posted a 107-67 (.607) mark and led the team to two NCAA (1982-83 & 1984-85) and one NIT (1985-86) appearances. He earned Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year honors twice before taking the head job at Nebraska.
Nee cut his coaching teeth as an assistant to Digger Phelps at Notre Dame from 1976-80, where he accompanied the Fighting Irish to four NCAA Tournaments, including a spot in the 1978 Final Four. While at Notre Dame, Nee recruited and coached 10 current or former NBA players.
Nee, who was a teammate of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (then Lew Alcindor) at New York's Power Memorial High School, was a member of the late Al McGuire's first recruiting class at Marquette University. He captained the Warriors' freshman team for frosh coach Hank Raymonds before a two-year tour of duty in the United States Marine Corps. A Vietnam veteran, he received Combat Air Insignia Medals and an honorable discharge in 1968.
He returned to college at St. Mary of the Plains College in Dodge City, Kan., where he graduated with a degree in English and physical education in 1971. He earned a master's degree in health, physical education and recreation from Kansas State in 1972.
He spent four seasons as a high school coach in New Jersey before beginning his college coaching career at Notre Dame.
Nee is married to the former Janet Scheib, a Pittsburgh native, and is the father of three children - daughter Nora, an undergrad at Duquesne, and sons Patrick and Kevin.