|Title:||Head Men's Basketball Coach|
|College:||The Kings (N.Y.), 1975|
Over the last eight seasons, Jerry Slocum has showed patience, determination and resiliency.
Those three traits served him well over the years, and the effort he and his staff put forth has the program moving in an upward direction.
Coming off the best season in more than a decade, the excitement surrounding the Youngstown State men’s basketball program is palpable and at a level not felt in many years.
Winning 34 games over the last two campaigns, posting YSU’s first back-to-back winning seasons in 29 years and securing the first Division I postseason berth in school history has not gone unnoticed by the 38-year coaching veteran. For Slocum, though, it is just the start of the journey, not the final destination. His goal, and the team’s goal, is to continue trending closer toward a Horizon League championship and the game’s pinnacle – the NCAA Tournament.
Slocum, who is in his ninth year at the helm of the Penguins, is one of a handful of active NCAA men’s basketball coaches to record more than 600 career victories, ranks 36th all-time with 673 career victories and needs 27 more to reach 700 for his career.
Now in his 39th season as a head coach, Slocum, who ranks second in YSU history with 92 wins, is sixth among active Division I mentors in career wins.
Slocum, who was named YSU’s head coach on April 12, 2005, became just the 47th individual in NCAA history to win at least 600 games as a head coach. He reached his milestone victory on Feb. 22, 2007, when the Penguins defeated Wright State.
While he achieved a historic personal accomplishment, Slocum has always been about the success of his players and his program over the attention he receives.
Slocum, who is the 12th head coach in school history, has tremendous energy around the basketball court and his passion for the game has shown in the way the Penguins have played under his tutelage.
Last season, the Penguins recorded one of the most successful campaigns in the program’s Division I history. Youngstown State finished with an 18-16 record, its best mark since 2000-01. The Penguins also posted back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 1983-84 and 1984-85, signifying that Slocum’s program continues to be on the rise. YSU was also 12-5 at home this past season for its most victories at Beeghly Center since 1984-85.
The CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT) was the Penguins’ first postseason tournament since moving to Division I in 1981-82. YSU put up its best offensive effort of the season in the opening round at Beeghly Center, draining a school-record 18 3-pointers and posting a season-high 99 points in a 99-87 victory over future Horizon League member Oakland. YSU also beat Loyola just before the buzzer in the Horizon League Tournament at home in one of the top moments in any YSU sport during the year.
The Penguins started the year with the program’s first win over a BCS opponent after knocking off SEC-member Georgia, 68-56, in front of a nationally-televised audience on ESPNU.
The Penguins set a school record for most points in a season with 2,426, breaking the record of 2,388 set in 1990-91 and set a school mark for most games played in a season with 34.
The 245 3-pointers made are the second-most in school history and mark the third straight season with at least 235 made 3-pointers.
Three players scored their 1,000th career point, marking the first time in school history three players accomplished the feat in the same season. Kendrick Perry became the 33rd player to score 1,000 points while Damian Eargle and Blake Allen were the 34th and 35th players, respectively, to reach that plateau.
Perry, who led the team and ranked second in the Horizon League with 17.3 points per game, was named All-Horizon League First-Team for the second straight season and named to the Horizon League All-Defensive Team.
Eargle was named the league’s Defensive Player of the Year after leading the league in blocked shots. He also set the YSU career blocks record with 309.
Allen became the school’s career and single-season 3-point record holder after making 94 3-pointers last season and 232 for his career.
Kamren Belin was also named to the league’s All-Newcomer Team after averaging 12.3 points per game against Horizon League opponents.
In 2011-12, Slocum guided the Penguins to their first winning season since 2000-01 with a 16-15 overall record and led them to their most Horizon League wins with 10 since joining the league in 2001-02.
The Guins’ eight-win improvement in the Horizon League
marks the best one-year turnaround since the league went to 10
teams and the second best in league history. YSU also lost three
other games by a combined seven points.
YSU set a Horizon League mark with five different players earning the league’s player-of-the-week award. DuShawn Brooks (Dec. 5), Eargle (Jan. 2), Ashen Ward (Jan. 9), Allen (Jan. 23) and Perry (Feb. 6) all won the award that season.
For the second straight season, the Penguins set the school’s single-season 3-point record with 270 made 3-pointers. The old record of 235 was set in 2010-11. They also tied the mark for most 3-point attempts of 708, which was set in 2010-11.
Perry became the first Youngstown State sophomore to be named All-Horizon League First-Team after leading the league in scoring with 16.8 points per game. Perry was also named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches All-District Second-Team.
Perry led the league in scoring (16.8 ppg) and steals (2.4) in conference play, becoming just the fifth player in Horizon League history to accomplish that feat.
Eargle set the Horizon League single-season blocks records for all games and league-games only. Eargle finished with 116 blocks, including 65 in Horizon League play. Allen led the Horizon League with 91 3-pointers made and 2.9 3-pointers made per game.
In his eight seasons at YSU, seven of Slocum players reached the coveted 1,000-point plateau and 11 have signed professional contracts.
In 2010-11, Vytas Sulskis became the 32nd YSU player to score at least 1,000 career points and now ranks 16th all-time with 1,311 points. Sulskis is the 10th player for Slocum that signed a professional contract to play overseas. Others include Michael Adams, John Barber, Kelvin Bright, Domonique Crawford, Byron Davis, Quin Humphrey, DeAndre Mays, Sirlester Martin and Mikko Niemi.
The Guins also garnered a tremendous amount of national attention by defeating eventual national runners-up Butler, 62-60, at the Beeghly Center.
The 2010-11 campaign also brought many offensive highlights.
The Guins averaged 69.1 points per game in 2010-11, which is the highest season per game average since the 2000-01 team averaged 71.1 points per game.
YSU scored 2,072 points in 2010-11, marking just the sixth time since 1990-91 that a YSU team has scored at least 2,000 points in a season.
The Guins set the school’s single-season records with 235 3-pointers made and 708 3-pointers attempted. Also, six different Penguins made at least 20 3-pointers in 2010-11.
In 2010, Youngstown State hosted a game on national television when the Guins entertained Milwaukee on Jan. 22. The game drew a crowd of 6,087, the eighth-largest attended game in school history.
The 2009-10 season also marked the first time Youngstown State played twice on ESPNU in the same season. The Penguins game at Cleveland State on Jan. 30, 2010, was also nationally-televised on ESPNU.
Mays became the first player since Ryan Patton to record back-to-back 100-assist seasons. Mays posted 207 assists in two years. Patton accomplished the feat in 2000-01 and 2001-02.
In 2008-09, Mays became the third Slocum recruit to be named to the Horizon League’s All-Newcomer Team after averaging 10.7 points and 3.5 assists per game.
In 2007-08, Davis, who ranked fourth in the Horizon League with 15.5 points per game, and Barber each eclipsed the 1,000 point total during their final season of eligibility.
Sulskis set the YSU freshman record with 46 3-pointers and was named to the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Freshman All-America Team and the Horizon League All-Newcomer Team.
In 2006-07, YSU won a postseason game for the first time since March 2003 and played host to a postseason tilt for the first time since 1995. In the five-point-or-less nail biters, Youngstown State was 7-1 and all 14 wins, seven of which came versus Horizon League foes, came when shooting better than an opponent.
During the year YSU had two three-game winning streaks in a schedule that featured three Big Ten foes, including NCAA finalist Ohio State. The Guins also earned victories over tournament participants Wright State and Eastern Kentucky.
Humphrey, who scored 1,707 points, became the school’s first two-time first-team all-conference selection and after his career signed a professional contract to play in Europe.
In 2005-06, YSU had its first Horizon League first-team all-conference performer in Humphrey while Keston Roberts made the all-newcomer team.
The Guins had the leading individuals in scoring, rebounding and
assists in the League, only the second time in the league’s
26 years that a team accomplished that feat.
Slocum has been involved in more than 1,100 games as he enters his 39th season. Overall, he has a mark of 673-476 in his career coaching at four different schools.
Slocum came to the Mahoning Valley after a distinguished nine-year tenure at Division II Gannon in Erie, Pa. He led the Golden Knights to a 179-78 record and six straight appearances in the NCAA Division II Tournament.
In 2000-01 and 2001-02 his squad tied for the South Division title after winning the outright crown in 1999-2000. In 2001, Gannon advanced to the GLIAC Tournament title game for the first time in school history losing to Grand Valley State.
Slocum was named the GLIAC Coach of the Year following the 1999-2000 campaign after leading the Golden Knights to a 16-3 league mark. That season his team posted a 23-5 ledger setting his personal best at the school for wins in a season and winning percentage (.821).
At Geneva, he was a consistent winner posting 20-win campaigns in his final eight seasons with the Golden Tornadoes. In his stint as head coach, he had a 203-80 overall mark for a winning percentage of .714.
Slocum’s head-coaching experience began at Nyack College in Nyack, N.Y., from 1975 through 1987.
He spent 12 seasons in charge of the Warriors’ program finishing with a 199-166 overall record for a .545 winning percentage. He ended his tenure strong winning at least 20 games in his final six seasons. His best campaign was a 25-8 mark in 1984-85. He was inducted into the Nyack Athletics Hall of Fame in October 2001.
Slocum is a 1975 graduate of The Kings (N.Y.) College where he earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education. He earned a master’s degree in athletic administration from the U.S. Sports Academy in 1987.
Jerry and his wife Kim, have a son, Aaron, a daughter, Annelli, a grandson, Aidan, and granddaughter, Aislyn.
Aaron is an assistant football coach and special education
teacher at Erie Cathedral Prep while Annelli is a paralegal in