Pat Skerry has completely revitalized the Towson men's basketball program and brought the Tigers back into the national spotlight. Skerry, who took over a program that had endured 15 straight losing seasons, wasted little time in righting the ship.
Just two years removed from a 1-31 season, Skerry guided Towson to its best ever season at the Division I level in 2013-14. The Tigers finished 25-11 overall and 13-3 in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA). The 25 wins are the most for the program at the Division I level and third most in a season all-time. Towson was one of just 44 teams in the country (out of 349) to record at least 25 wins during the 2013-14 season.
Skerry also led the Tigers to their first postseason appearance since 1991. Towson claimed a pair of road wins in the 2014 CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament by defeating USC Upstate and East Tennessee State, the programs first two postseason victories at the Division I level.
The Tigers, who played a school-record 36 games in 2013-14, posted their first ever Top 100 RPI finish, ending the year at No. 84. They also received the programs first ever vote in the Associated Press Top 25.
Record-breaking seasons have become the norm for Skerry, who guided the Tigers to an 18-13 overall record during the 2012-13 season, just a year after Towson went 1-31. It marked the largest single-season turnaround in NCAA Division I men's basketball history. Skerry was recognized by his peers and the media as the 2013 CAA Coach of the Year.
Towson has won 13 CAA games in each of the last two seasons, placing second in the final league standings both years. It marks the most wins and best ever finishes for the Tigers since joining the league in 2001. During the 2012-13 season, Towson swept longtime rivals Drexel, Hofstra and Delaware. It was the first time that the Tigers had ever done that in the 27 seasons the four teams have been in the same conference.
Skerry also guided Towson to one of its biggest non-conference wins when the Tigers stunned Oregon State on its home floor on Dec. 29, 2012. It was Towson's first win over a BCS school since 1995 when the Tigers topped Louisville. Skerry and the Tigers pulled out another major win during the 2013-14 season when Towson defeated Temple, the sixth winningest program in college men's basketball history. The 75-69 win over the Owls on Nov. 14, 2013 was one of 15 home wins the Tigers picked up during their first year of play inside the brand-new SECU Arena.
Under Skerry, Towson has posted back-to-back winning seasons for the first time since 1992-93 and 1993-94.
Much of Towson's success during Skerry's first three years can be traced to the transfers and recruiting class that he and his coaching staff brought in.
Skerry used his BIG EAST conference ties to bring in eventual two-time CAA Player of the Year and 2013 AP Honorable Mention All-American Jerrelle Benimon, who ranked second in the nation in rebounds per game (11.2) and third in double-doubles (21) during his senior campaign. Skerry was also able to bring in Mike Burwell from South Florida and Bilal Dixon from Providence College.
Skerry's first recruiting class at Towson was ranked as the best in the CAA and sixth among all non-BCS schools, according to CBS Sports. Skerry has also found success going to the junior college ranks as JUCO transfers Marcus Damas and Rafriel Guthrie have played major roles in the Tigers turnaround.
Skerry, a 21-year coaching veteran, has succeeded in changing the culture of the Towson men's basketball program. During his first semester as head coach, his players posted the highest GPA for a Towson men's basketball team in over a decade.
Skerry, who was named the Tigers' head coach on April 5th, 2011, has spent time building his resume of success at 10 different schools: Towson 2011-present, Pittsburgh 2010-11, Providence 2008-10, Rhode Island 2005-08, College of Charleston 2003-05, William & Mary 2000-03, Northeastern 1998-2000, Curry College (Mass.) 1996-98, Stonehill College (Mass.) 1995-96 and his alma mater, Tufts 1992-95.
In 2010-11, Skerry helped Pittsburgh to the BIG EAST Conference regular season championship with an overall mark of 28-6. During his tenure at Pitt, he once again helped refill the talent pool for the Panthers as they added one of the Top 15 recruiting classes in the country according to ESPN.com, including two of the Top 60 incoming players.
Skerry spent three years recruiting and coaching in the BIG EAST, working the two years prior to Pitt at Providence under Keno Davis.
In 2008-09, Providence advanced to the NIT with a 19-14 overall record and 10-8 BIG EAST mark. Skerry assisted with the Friars' 2009 recruiting class, which was ranked No. 35 in the nation by Hoop Scoop.
Before his jump to Providence, Skerry spent three years as an assistant coach at the University of Rhode Island working for Jim Baron. During his time at URI, Skerry gained national recognition and was named one of the top assistant coaches in the country in 2007 by Hoop Scoop. In 2008, Fox Sports.com went on to name Skerry the top mid-major assistant in the nation.
His recruiting classes at Rhode Island also captured the nation's attention as his 2006 class was rated No. 24 in the nation by Hoop Scoop along with a No. 61 ranking for the Rams' 2007 group.
Skerry served as an assistant for two seasons at the College of Charleston under current Marshall Coach Tom Herrion. While at Charleston, the Cougars posted a combined 38-19 record.
In addition, Skerry has a great understanding of the Colonial Athletic Association as he spent five years with league teams William & Mary (2000-03) and Northeastern University (1998-2000).
In 1996, Skerry became the second-youngest head coach in the nation at the age of 26 when he was selected to guide the Curry basketball program. During his two-year stop with the Colonels, he led Curry to its first winning season in five years.
He also spent one year as an assistant at Stonehill and three seasons as an assistant at Tufts where he helped direct the Jumbos to two ECAC Tournaments along with the school's first NCAA Division III Tournament berth in 1995.
A native of Medford, Mass., Skerry played collegiately at Tufts from 1989-92 where he was a two-time team captain and garnered All-New England honors. As a point guard, he recorded a school-record 650 assists during his career - a mark that still ranks as the 17th best in NCAA Division III history. His 198 assists in 1990-91 is a Tufts single-season record. He also is fifth on the school's career steals list with 95.
Skerry earned both of his collegiate degrees from Tufts, earning his bachelor's degree in psychology in 1992 and his master's degree in education in 1995.
Pat and his wife, Kristen, have two sons, Ryan and Owen.
Playing Career: Earned All-New England honors and was a two-year team captain at Tufts ... set school record with 650 career assists which still ranks as the 17th best total in NCAA Division III ... his 6.8 career assists per game average still ranks 10th in NCAA Division III Record Book.