Assistant Coach Michael Wernicki is in his 11th year as part of the Youngstown State coaching staff. Wernicki enters his 13th year as an assistant coach on the Division I level and his 19th season overall coaching college basketball.
Besides his day-to-day coaching duties, Wernicki also serves as the program’s recruiting coordinator. He assists Head Coach Jerry Slocum in opponent scouting, on-court coaching and helps oversee the academic progress of the Penguins’ student-athletes.
Since his arrival at YSU, the Guins have had five first-team all-league selections, a defensive player of the year and five all-newcomer team honorees.
In 2013-14, Wernicki was instrumental in helping the Penguins to 15 victories, which marked the first time since the mid-1980's the program won at least 15 games in three straight seasons.
Wernicki also helped develop Kendrick Perry into one of the program's and Horizon League's best players of all-time.
Perry delivered on the of the most sensation individual seasons in program history. He became the first Youngstown State player to earn All-Horizon League First-Team honors in three straight seasons, and led the league in scoring for the second time in three years.
A Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-America Second-Team honoree, Perry scored 682 points in 2013-14 and became the program's Division I leading scorer with 1,991 career points. He also set the YSU and Horizon League career steals records with 246.
In 2012-13, 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 the 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.
Kendrick Perry became just the second player in school history to repeat as an All-Horizon League First-Team selection and was named NABC All-District First Team. Damian Eargle was named the Horizon League Defensive Player of the Year, and Kamren Belin earned all-newcomer team accolades.
Blake Allen set the YSU single-season and career 3-point records with 94 and 232, respectively.
Perry and Allen also become the 33rd and 35th players in school history to score 1,000 career points.
In 2011-12, Perry was named All-Horizon League First-Team after leading the league in scoring (16.8 ppg) and steals (2.4 spg). The Guins set a school mark with 270 3-pointers made. Allen led the league with 91 3-pointers and Eargle led the league with 116 blocked shots.
In 2010-11, Vytas Sulskis averaged a team-best 13.1 points per game and became the 32nd player in school history to score at least 1,000 career points. Eargle led the Horizon League with 91 blocked shots and was named to the All-Newcomer Team.
Allen and Perry ranked first and second in the league in assist-to-turnover ratio.
In 2009-10, DeAndre Mays also 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 2006-07, the Penguins won 14 games, their most in six years, while finishing in a fourth-place tie in the Horizon League. Guard Quin Humphrey became the first player in school history to earn first-team all-conference honors in consecutive years.
Prior to coming to YSU, he spent two years at Canisius.
While coaching with the Golden Griffins for Mike MacDonald, he served as the recruiting coordinator, assisted with on-floor coaching, monitored academic progress and scouting.
In 2004-05, Canisius ended the year with a flourish winning 10 of its final 19 . While at the school, he earned a Master’s Degree in Sports Administration.
Wernicki went to Canisius from Division II Mercyhurst where he spent six seasons as an assistant coach for Karl Fogel.
He helped guide the Lakers to three conference tournament appearances and aided in the recruitment and development of two Freshman-of-the-Year selections and eight all-conference players. The team’s best season was in 2000-01 when the Lakers won 17 games. In his final year at Mercyhurst, he coached alongside fellow YSU assistant Brian DePaoli.
A native of Erie, Pa., Wernicki played basketball for the University of Pittsburgh. During his career, the Panthers made appearances in the 1992 NIT and the 1993 NCAA Tournament.
In 1991-92, Pittsburgh posted an 18-16 record and followed that with a 17-11 mark in 1992-93. The Panthers advanced to the second round of the NIT in 1992, and in 1993, lost to Utah in the first round. Following his playing career, he spent a season as a student coach with the Panthers.
Wernicki graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Communication and English Writing from Pittsburgh in 1996.
He spent one season as an assistant coach at Franklin Regional High School, where he helped lead his team to the state championship game and a 29-4 record.
Michael and his wife Maura, a kindergarten teacher at North Elementary in East Liverpool, Ohio, and former student-athlete at John Carroll, reside in Poland with their son, Maxwell.