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Duquense reportedly interested in Keith Dambrot... again

They say third time is the charm. But does Dambrot say yes this time around?

NCAA Basketball: Akron at Gonzaga James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

The search for a new head basketball coach at Duquense Unviersity continues after a debacle involving the non-hire of Ball State’s James Whitford.

CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein reported Friday afternoon that Akron men’s basketball coach Keith Dambrot is the focus of their search.

Dambrot has been at the helm in Akron since 2004, accumulating a record of 305-139 in the last 13 seasons. Before that, he was an assistant at Akron (2001-2004) and a head coach at LeBron James’ high school St. Vincent’s/St. Mary’s in Akron (1998-2001).

Dambrot’s Zips have experienced a great amount of success, winning five MAC East division titles and three MAC Championships, appearing in three NCAA Tournaments. Akron has also made five NIT appearances and one appearance each in the CIT and CBI.

Duquense hasn’t been as fortunate.

The Dukes have not been in the NCAA Tournament since 1977 and haven’t won the Atlantic-10 Conference regular season title since 1981. This past season, the Dukes went 10-22 (3-15) under head coach Jim Ferry.

Citing a source, FanRag Sports reports there is interest between the school and the three-time MAC Coach of the Year, but that the hold-up seems to be the school’s commitment to winning.

We’ve seen this stage of negotiations before between Dambrot and Duquense.

In 2012, the year Jim Ferry was hired, Dambrot was approached to take the head coaching job, which meant a nearly doubled increase in pay and a more competitive conference. He turned it down. Then Duquense offered him again. He turned it down again.

It will be rather difficult to get Dambrot to leave Akron for Pittsburgh. Dambrot is a Zip through and through, having graduated from the university in 1982 and coaching in the city limits since 1998.

Dambrot seems content in Akron, but a move to Duquense could signal that he wants a new challenge and there’s certainly not many challenges tougher than taking a basement feeding team and turning them into a contender in one of the tougher mid-major conferences