MAC ON SPORTS: ALAN HUSS BLUEJAYS INTERIM CREIGHTON COACH

J. Thomas McNamara

    Alan Huss, who assisted Jeremy Moore at Eisenhower from 2003 to 2005  and who coached Decatur Christian to the Christian Schools national tournament with an international roster, served as Creighton’s interim head coach last Saturday after the university suspended head coach Greg McDermott for his “plantation” analogy.
    Creighton athletic director Bruce Rasmussen announced Thursday night (March 4) that Bluejays basketball coach Greg McDermott has been suspended at least through Sunday’s regular season finale against Butler as the fallout from McDermott’s use of racially insensitive language continues.
    “After our Creighton men’s basketball team returned to Omaha earlier today, [Father] Hendrickson and I engaged with other senior leaders in dialogue and discussion regarding appropriate sanctions for the remarks made by head men’s basketball coach Greg McDermott that were not in alignment with Creighton’s commitment to racial equity, diversity and respect,” Rasmussen said in a statement.
    “Coach McDermott and the team have accepted that, effective immediately, he is suspended from all team activities, including Saturday’s home season finale against Butler.  Further sanctions remain under consideration, not all of which will be shared publicly.
    “Assistant coach Al Huss will serve as interim head coach.
    “Coach McDermott and our athletics program must use this incident as an opportunity for growth and learning, as clearly more work needs to be done.”
McDermott said earlier this week that he would have resigned if his players wanted after he admitted to “an egregious mistake” made in the locker room after a loss last weekend.
     “If they would have chosen to have me walk away, I would have walked away,” McDermott said in an interview with 1620 The Zone, according to the Omaha World-Herald. “But that is not what they wanted.”
    McDermott initially apologized Tuesday evening (March 2) for comments made Saturday (Feb. 27) following a 77-69 road loss to Xavier. In the apology, posted to Twitter, McDermott included the analogy in full, which reads as follows:
    “Guys, we got to stick together. We need both feet in.  I need everybody to stay on the plantation.  I can’t have anybody leave the plantation.”
    “I have never used that analogy and it is not indicative of who I am as a person or as a coach,” McDermott said.  “I am deeply sorry.  I have apologized to our student-athletes and to our staff, as well as to President Hendrickson and Director of Athletics Bruce Rasmussen.”
    Creighton issued a separate statement Tuesday evening (March 2) on the subject, condemning the language as “deplorable.”  It added that any disciplinary action taken against McDermott will remain confidential.
    “While an apology is a start, and while we believe this was out of character for Coach McDermott, in no way does it diminish the fact that his remark was hurtful to many and has absolutely no place in the Creighton community,” Creighton’s statement said.  “We have offered our full and unconditional support to those affected by his words.”
    Huss is in his fourth season on staff at his alma mater.

He works with Creighton’s big men while also playing a key role in the team’s offense, scouting and recruiting.  CU’s offense ranks 13th nationally with 79.90 points per game since Huss returned to The Hilltop.
In his first three years on staff, Huss helped Creighton develop the Bluejay front line to compete in one of the nation’s best leagues.
Last season, Huss worked with undersized Christian Bishop as he blossomed into a key starter on Creighton’s BIG EAST champion squad.
A year earlier in 2018-19 Huss helped Martin Krampelj turn into one of the top post players in the BIG EAST, as he ranked in the top-10 in scoring, rebounding, blocks and steals during league play.
As an assistant in three seasons at New Mexico, Huss helped guide the Lobos to 49 victories. New Mexico went 33-13 at The Pit during that time, and the Lobos finished 5-1 in six meetings against in-state rival New Mexico State.
Huss went to New Mexico after spending four seasons at the helm of the prep program at La Lumiere School in La Porte, Indiana, where he amassed an impressive 102-19 record for a team that was regularly ranked as one of the top high school programs in the nation. His record also included a perfect 62-0 home record at Marsch Gymnasium. Huss coached more than three dozen Division I products at the high school level, including former NBA guard Darington Hobson.
Prior to his time at La Lumiere, Huss was the head coach at Culver Military Academy in Culver, Indiana, where he set the school record for wins in each of his final two seasons with the Eagles, as well as Decatur Christian.
Huss was a four-year member of the Creighton men’s basketball team from 1997 to 2001, where he played under head coach Dana Altman and alongside NBA sharpshooter Kyle Korver.  During his collegiate career with the Bluejays, Huss was part of three NCAA Tournament teams (1999, 2000, 2001), two Missouri Valley Conference Tournament titles (1999, 2000) and one MVC regular-season title (2001).  He played in 94 games with the Bluejays, including 39 starts.
The 6-foot-9-inch Huss was a prep standout at North Kansas City High School.  He averaged 26 points and 12 rebounds per game for the Hornets en route to All-Kansas City metro honors as a senior. Following his final season at North Kansas City High, he was selected to the Greater Kansas City Basketball Coaches Association and Missouri-Kansas All-Star games.

    Huss earned his Bachelor’s degree from Creighton in Business Administration in 2002. He and his wife Katie (also a 2002 Creighton alum) have two daughters, Nicky and Mary.
    I will have more on this obviously developing story in a future print edition of the Decatur Tribune.  From my point of view, I knew this day would come that Alan would be a college head coach, just not under these circumstances.  Alan is the latest example of “you can go home” as he is a Creighton Bluejay graduate and athlete as cited above.  We wish Alan the best in the Big East tournament and in the NCAA tournament with Selection Sunday March 14.

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