ARCHDEACON: Ignoring Dad’s advice paid off for new WSU coach
Here are five things we learned about the man who will be the ninth coach in WSU history:
Job security: While Nagy hasn't officially signed his contract, it will be a five-year deal, which is five times longer than any he's ever had. That's because a South Dakota law requires public employees to work under one-year contracts.
“That’s 21 one-year deals I’ve been working on,” he said before quickly adding that the extra security won’t alter how he approaches this job.
“In no way,” he insisted. “I will always view myself as being on a one-year deal. That’s the best way to coach. I think you can go in every day and fire yourself and look at your office and say, ‘You know what, this could not be yours tomorrow.’ That’s the way I’ve always operated.”
Perfectionist philosophy: When asked to describe his coaching style, Nagy admitted he isn't the easiest for players to deal with.
“I’m intense,” he said. “I’m hard on the kids. I have high expectations, almost to the point where I’m a little bit of a perfectionist. A lot of times I come back to the kids and apologize to them for things I’ve said. I’m not one of those guys that has to think he’s right all the time. I learn from the kids just as much as they learn from me. But the expectations are high.
“We want to recruit good offensive players and turn them loose,” he added. “It’s not run and gun. We take great care of the ball. We get good shots. But we want to get kids who can shoot and then we work on their defense. Early in the season I’m much more intense than I am late in the season. Once it gets late, they know what’s expected and they’re either going to do it or they’re not, so I tend to relax and let them play.”
Ready to recruit: While a new job means a new recruiting landscape, Nagy said he doesn't expect that to be much of a hurdle.
“It doesn’t take long to establish relationships and recruiting ties and all of those things,” Nagy said. “I’m not overly concerned about that. We’ve always been a Midwest-recruiting basketball team. My assistant coaches will be able to do that. It really has more to do with what we’re able to offer, and we have a lot to offer here.
“At South Dakota State we had a 31 RPI. If we can do that and recruit good players at South Dakota State, we can recruit good players to Wright State.”
Staff stability: Nagy said he has yet to meet with the current WSU assistant coaches, so he isn't sure whether any will be retained. But he did announce Brian Cooley and Clint Sargent will be following him from South Dakota State.
Cooley was the recruiting coordinator at SDSU and has worked with Nagy for the last nine seasons. Sargent played for Nagy and is the Jackrabbits’ all-time leading 3-point shooter. He has been the program’s operations coordinator since 2013.
Comeback capable: In the 2012 Summit League tournament championship game, SDSU trailed Western Illinois by 12 with 10 minutes to go before rallying to win in overtime and advance to the program's first NCAA Tournament.
In this year’s Summit tournament, the Jackrabbits were down 15 against Oral Roberts in the first half and 13 with 10 minutes to go before coming back to win the first-round game by three. Then in the semifinals, SDSU trailed by 13 with 11 minutes to go and 10 with less than five remaining but rallied to pull out a one-point win.