Towson's Skerry Signs Contract Extension
TOWSON, Md. – Towson University head men’s basketball coach Pat Skerry has agreed to terms on a two-year contract extension. The new agreement will extend the term of Skerry’s contract through the 2018-19 season.
“Watching Coach Skerry’s historic turnaround with the Towson men’s basketball program both academically and competitively in the last two years, we are excited to announce this extension,” said interim Director of Athletics Tricia Turley Brandenburg. “Pat and his staff have done a tremendous job developing and recruiting the type of student-athletes that are willing to work hard on the court and in the classroom. With the opening of SECU Arena this year, Towson is poised to be an annual contender in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) and carry the banner for its alumni and the city of Baltimore. A stable and winning basketball program will only provide more financial security to our department and provide all of our teams the resources needed to be successful.”
Skerry took over the Towson program in the spring of 2011 and immediately faced steep uphill challenges as the program was coming off a 4-26 season and looking at NCAA sanctions for poor performances in the Academic Performance Rates (APR).
After facing a difficult rebuilding year in 2011-12 where the Tigers returned just one letterwinner and posted a mark of 1-31, Towson made NCAA history in 2012-13 as the team posted the largest single-season turnaround, going 18-13 overall and finishing in second place in the CAA. It was Towson’s first winning basketball season in 17 years (1995-96) and the most wins since 1993-94. The Tigers were led by Associated Press Honorable Mention All-America selection and 2013 CAA Player of the Year Jerrelle Benimon (17.1 ppg, 11.2 rpg), who transferred to Towson from Georgetown along with two other former BIG EAST Conference players – Bilal Dixon (Providence College) and Mike Burwell (USF) – in Skerry’s first recruiting class.
Skerry has also orchestrated the same kind of turnaround academically as the team posted a single-season APR scores of 939 in 2011-12 with a higher score expected for 2012-13. Towson is now eligible for CAA and NCAA postseason play. The team also holds a cumulative GPA of 2.928.
“I came here to Towson to build a basketball program that would represent this institution both athletically and academically and make our fans and alumni proud,” said Skerry. “Our hard work and dedication as players and coaches is paying off and now we step into SECU Arena, one of the best facilities anywhere on the east coast.
“We would not be primed for greatness if it was not for the support of our President Maravene Loeschke and our athletics administration over the last two years. I also want to thank our interim Director of Athletics Tricia Turley Brandenburg for her time and persistence negotiating this contract extension. There has never been a better time to be a Tiger.”The Tigers officially open the 2013-14 season and the new SECU Arena on Friday, Nov. 8 as part of a men/women’s doubleheader vs. Navy.