Youngstown State University men's basketball head coach Jerry Slocum today announced his retirement from coaching after 42 years on the bench, including the last 12 (2005-17) at YSU.
"After 42 years of head coaching, I have been blessed and honored to have coached so many great young men and the privilege of working alongside some great assistant coaches," Slocum said. "At this time I'm announcing that I'm retiring from coaching and have loved every moment that I was called 'Coach'."
"We are extremely grateful that Jerry Slocum served as our men's basketball head coach for 12 seasons," Executive Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Ron Strollo said. "His passion for the game of basketball and his desire to work with our student-athletes on and off the court is unmatched."
Slocum posted 723 career victories including 142 at Youngstown State, which finished behind only Dom Rosselli in career wins at YSU and are the most Division I wins in school history. His career wins rank 35th in NCAA history.
YSU President Jim Tressel's admiration for Slocum goes beyond the basketball court.
"Coach Slocum has proudly served young people and the game of basketball in a brilliant fashion," Tressel said. "His 723 career wins are legendary; however, his work ethic and class differentiate his amazing career. We're so proud that Jerry served our Penguins."
During his tenure at Youngstown State, Slocum helped stabilize the program in the early years of the Horizon League. He guided the Penguins to their first consecutive winning seasons in 29 years (2011-12 and 2012-13), led YSU to its first Division I postseason tournament in school history – the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT) in 2012-13 and its first postseason tournament win over Oakland in 2013.
Slocum also mentored some of the most prolific scorers in program history. Eight players reached the 1,000-point plateau during his tenure at YSU, including junior Cameron Morse and former players Kendrick Perry, Quin Humphrey, Vytas Sulskis, Bobby Hain, Blake Allen, Damian Eargle and John Barber. Perry, Humphrey and Morse were named to the All-Horizon League teams on multiple occasions.
This season, the Penguins advanced to the semifinals of the Horizon League Tournament for the first time in program history after a thrilling last-second win over top-seeded Oakland. It marked the first conference tournament semifinal appearance since 1998.
Morse was named All-Horizon League First-Team after leading the league in scoring with 23.2 points per game in conference play. He also become the first YSU Division I player to score at least 700 points in a season with 711, which also ranks second on the all-time single-season list.
The Penguins excelled academically during Slocum's tenure as well. The Penguins routinely carried a team grade-point average near 3.0 and posted a team gpa of 3.10 in the fall of 2016. A Youngstown State men's basketball player was named Academic All-Horizon League five different times and Perry became the school's second CoSIDA Academic All-American in 2014. Three players (Humphrey, Sulskis and Perry) were named the Youngstown State Male Student-Athletes of the Year.
A national search to replace Slocum will begin immediately.
Jerry Slocum's YSU Career Highlights
- Led YSU to its first appearance in the Horizon League semifinals in 2017 and first appearance in conference semifinals since 1998
- Led YSU to its first postseason tournament appearance in school history- the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament (CIT) in 2013. YSU beat Oakland for its first Division I postseason victory.
- Led YSU to its first win over a Power-5 conference school, beating Georgia in 2012
- Won at Kent State for the first time in 50 years, beating the Golden Flashes in 2006
- Beat Akron for the first time since 1994 to start the 2016-17 season
- Second-longest tenured head coach in YSU men's basketball history behind legendary head coach Dom Rosselli
- Most Division I wins in school history
- Responsible for the construction of a new men's basketball locker room, new weight room and video room in Beeghly Center
- Had three YSU Student-Athletes of the Year (Quin Humphrey, Vytas Sulskis and Kendrick Perry)
- Had eight players score more than 1,000 career points
- Only team in Horizon League history to have all five starters named Player of the Week in the same season (2011-12)
- Took the men's basketball team on a foreign trip to the Bahamas to play exhibition games prior to the 2015-16 season.