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“He asked ‘Coach, am I crazy to leave here?’ ” said Price, who also served as DeChellis‘ director of basketball operations for four years at Penn State. “I said ‘Knowing you, Ed, and knowing what Navy’s all about, I don’t think so.’ It just tugged at him. It was his path at that particular time.”

Nor did it shock Parkhill, with whom DeChellis still speaks with regularly.

“I sense he felt like maybe they didn’t appreciate what he did there,” Parkhill said. “Navy really wanted him. You add the fact it is such a special place, not just to live but also the academy. It didn’t really surprise me.”

Of course, things are a bit different for DeChellis. He sees water and boats instead trees and mountains when he looks outside his office. Deciding how best to use prep schools is a larger part of his job.

And then there’s the nuances of a military environment, which take some time to learn.

“I said ‘Hey, I want to go take the guys and get them something to eat,’ ” DeChellis recalled telling assistant Aaron Goodman, a holdover from Lange’s staff. “He said ‘Hey Coach, they can’t leave.’ It was just to go get something to eat. It was a Friday night, and he says ‘No. Saturday night you can, but Friday night you can’t take them off the yard.’ “

To figure out the academy environment, DeChellis already has talked to several coaches tied to the program at one time or another. He plans to emphasize three basic tenets - defense, rebounding and taking care of the ball - once he gets on the court with his new team.

And he’ll enjoy the latest turn in his career path, as is usually the case for people who are certain of who they are and what they represent.

“I understand people looking at it from the outside saying ‘Well, the level of competition is not the same, the level of compensation is not the same, the conference is maybe not the same,’ ” DeChellis said. “But for me, this has been tremendous. … I know I made the right move. I’ve never had remorse. Not one second. Not one.”