LOGAN There aren't too many people in the basketball world that can say they know Utah State basketball coach Stew Morrill as well as two current long-time assistants Don Verlin and Tim Duryea and former assistant and current Weber State head coach Randy Rahe.
Verlin, the elder statesman of the four Utah State assistants on the current staff, has been with Morrill for 14 seasons, dating back to two stints with him at Colorado State, while Duryea joined the Aggies in 2001 three years into Morrill's tenure at Utah State.
"I know what he's thinking a lot of the time, and he knows what I'm thinking," Verlin said.
And that only comes with time and trust.
"The one thing you need to know about Coach is his common-sense approach and he's going to tell you exactly where you stand at all times," Verlin said. "There's no games or hidden agendas. You know where you stand at all times and what you're going to get day-in and day-out."
For Duryea, Morrill's openness breeds loyalty.
"It's huge to know that the guy you're working for has your back and cares about you as a person. That's pretty rare," he said.
Make no mistake about it, Morrill considers himself lucky to have two assistants who have been with him as long as those two have.
"When you have guys that have been here as long as they have, and 'V' (Verlin) has been with me dang near as long as my wife, you feel really fortunate."
Verlin spent one season with Morrill at Colorado State in 1992 before leaving for Cal State Bakersfield, where we was an assistant for two seasons. He returned to Colorado State in 1995 and when Morrill got the head job at Utah State in 1999, Verlin followed.
Duryea also spent one year at Colorado State in 1988 well before Morrill arrived there. He was an assistant at North Texas before coaching Hutchinson Community College, where he was the assistant and eventually the head coach.
Rahe spent 12 seasons as an assistant before moving to Utah as an assistant under Ray Giacoletti. He took the Weber job last year.
At Colorado State and Utah State, Morrill is a combined 312-151.
"I must not be too bad, guys stay a long time," Morrill quipped.
Well, there is a lot of truth to that.
In 14 years with Morrill, Verlin has experienced only one losing season, while winning 20 games or more nine times the last five of which Duryea has been a part.