MEDFORD - Pat Skerry is a son of Tufts University. He grew up in Medford, was one of three brothers to play basketball for Jumbos under Bob Sheldon and then was an assistant coach on the team for three seasons from 1992-95.
Since departing Tufts, Skerry, 41, has been on a fast track as one of the rising talents in NCAA Division I coaching. Earlier this month, he landed his first Division I head job at Towson University in Maryland.
|Skerry takes it to the hole as a Jumbo in the early
Skerry has a 1992 undergradute degree in psychology and a 1995 graduate degree in education from Tufts. After leaving the Jumbos in 1995, his ladder to success included wrungs at Stonehill (1995-96), Curry (1996-98), Northeastern (1998-2000), William & Mary (2000-03), College of Charleston (2003-05), Rhode Island (2005-08), Providence (2008-10) and Pittsburgh (2010-11).
As a top assistant in the Big East for the past three years, Skerry's profile as a head coach-in-waiting was raised and he earned his first opportunity with the Towson Tigers. The team plays in the Colonial Athletic Association, whose members Virginia Commonwealth and George Mason have recently made surprising runs to the NCAA Final Four. Towson will soon be breaking ground on a new $68 million state-of-the-art 5,200-seat arena.
Skerry has his work cut out for him, as he takes over a Towson team that did not win a game in the CAA (0-18) last season. However, many of Skerry's former colleagues - including 23-year Tufts coach Bob Sheldon - think he's the right man for the job.
"Pat was in my first class of recruits, and as a freshman he beat out our senior point guard," Sheldon said. "From day one, he's been a winner. As a player and as a coach, he worked hard every day. He was relentless at it. He will carry that work eithic into recruiting and coaching at Towson, which is what's needed to turn that program around."
Skerry was one of the top point guards in New England at Tufts. He was a two-time team captain and his 650 career assists ranks as the 17th best in NCAA Division III history. His 198 assists in 1990-91 is a Tufts single-season record. His younger brothers John and Brian also played at Tufts. His mother, Bernice, is a Tufts employee.
Pat capped his three-year coaching stint at Tufts as the assistant on the 1995 Jumbo squad that was the first in the program's history to earn an NCAA Tournament berth (NESCAC did not permit NCAA team berths prior to 1993).
"My time at Tufts prepared me to lead my own program," Skerry said. "Interacting with people from all over the world helped me become a good listener, communicator and motivator. Working for the men's basketball program under Coach Sheldon allowed me to immediately become involved in all phases of coaching , recruiting and scouting. Because of those experiences I was able to learn through trial and error and gain great experience."