The son of a New York City transit cop, Jim Ferry likes a challenge.
He'll get one quickly at Duquesne.
The Dukes' new men's basketball coach said he planned to hit the ground running to secure a recruiting class for next fall and refuted the notion that it's harder to recruit at Duquesne than at other college programs.
Three players transferred from Duquesne last month. In addition, a 2012 recruit who had signed with the Dukes asked for and was granted a release following the March 23 firing of coach Ron Everhart and another signed recruit was reconsidering his commitment.
"Every place you're at, there's challenges with recruiting," said Ferry, who is leaving Long Island University Brooklyn for Duquesne.
"It's a very similar scenario from when I took over LIU from the number of players left on the roster to the youth left on the roster.
"We're dealing with a special university. It's a great school, a great city, it's a great conference. There's so many strengths. Using the relationships I've had throughout my years, it's a place you can recruit all over."
Ferry spoke by telephone Wednesday from New York. He was tying up loose ends there and will fly back to Pittsburgh this morning for a 2 p.m. news conference at the Palumbo Center.
He said Wednesday afternoon he already had touched base with both of Duquesne's recruits: Donovon Jack, a 6-foot-9 center from Reading, Pa., and Willie Moore, a 6-3 guard from Cincinnati. Moore was granted a release last week, and had said Duquesne would still be in the running when a new coach was named. But a source told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Wednesday night that Moore is no longer considering Duquesne.
Ferry said he will meet with the team today.
In 10 years at LIU, Ferry made a reputation for building a recruiting pipeline between the school and Texas, tapping into a market known more for brawny football stars.
His roster at LIU Brooklyn this year had four players from Texas, three Canadians, two players from Maryland and most of the rest from the New York/New Jersey area.
"From LIU, we dipped into Texas a bit, Maryland. We'll do the same thing," said Ferry. "It's very challenging, but it's challenging wherever you go."
Robert Morris coach Andy Toole, who competed against Ferry in the Northeast Conference, said that ability to get creative with recruiting should serve him well at Duquesne.
"Duquesne is a job where you have to be creative in how you get good players from a no-stone-left-unturned sense to maybe exploring some different areas you might not have thought about," said Toole. "He's done that at LIU. With the ability to recruit kids from Texas; he's got a couple Canadians. I think people assume you would have a roster of New York City kids.
"I think he figured out and was able to find out some creative ways to get really good players."
Ferry said he will bring a few assistants from LIU Brooklyn with him, and add two more with Atlantic 10 ties. He did not reveal who but said they will be announced shortly.
"We're going to hit the ground running," said Ferry. "We're going to try not to make wrong decisions. Going to try and make right decisions."
Another NCAA signing period for basketball recruits began Wednesday.
Ferry, 44, has a daughter finishing high school this spring, twins entering high school in the fall and a 5-year-old.
He said the timing of the move was right after 10 years at LIU, and that the commitment he sensed from Duquesne athletic director Greg Amodio and President Charles Dougherty struck him.
"As I started researching this job more, I just think it's a special place," he said. "Greg Amodio and President Dougherty, they're just real people. I felt like I saw their vision. They explained to me what their expectations were. The commitment the university wants to make right now is something that's very exciting.
"It's a great challenge. I'm a competitive person. It all felt right."duquesnesports