Delaware hires Ross as new head coach

Updated: March 31, 2006, 8:58 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

NEWARK, Del. -- Delaware hired Monte Ross, an assistant at Saint Joseph's, as the Blue Hens' new coach on Friday.

The hiring was first reported Friday by ESPN.com's Andy Katz.

Ross will succeed David Henderson, who was fired March 13 -- a week after Delaware concluded its third losing season in five years.

Delaware originally offered the job to Louisville assistant Kevin Willard two weeks ago but pulled the contract over Willard's DUI two years ago, Katz reported. That prompted an angry response from Louisville coach Rick Pitino, who said Willard had been up front with the committee.

Ross, 35, joined Saint Joseph's in 1996-97 during Phil Martelli's second season as head coach. He was instrumental in the recruitment and development of 2004 player of the year Jameer Nelson. Ross is a graduate of Winston-Salem State, where he played for Clarence "Big House" Gaines.

After beginning his career at Lehigh in 1993-94, Ross spent two seasons as an assistant at Drexel.

Delaware was 20-41 overall in the last two seasons, including an 11-25 mark in the Colonial Athletic Association. The Blue Hens had consecutive 20-loss seasons for the first time.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

ALSO SEE