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Assistant coach Jason Slay joined the Buccaneers’ staff in June of 2014, and is considered one of the best young collegiate coaches in the country.
Slay, who spent last season as an assistant at Tennessee State University, was also the Director of Basketball Operations for Georgia Southern University during the 2012-13 season. Prior to his college coaching experience, Slay was the top assistant coach at Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia, one of the most prestigious prep schools in the country.
“I am thrilled to have Jason on our basketball staff,” Bartow said. “Jason had an outstanding career as a college basketball player, and he has a very bright future ahead of him as a coach. He will be involved with all aspects of our program, but his primary responsibilities will be with recruiting and the skill development of our players. He will be a tremendous role model for our players.”
Slay said the opportunity to join Bartow’s staff was something he couldn’t pass up.
“I am blessed and extremely excited about the opportunity Coach Bartow and the ETSU family has given me,” said Slay, who is originally from Beckley, W.Va. “It was an opportunity I had to take. After meeting with Coach Bartow on a couple of different occasions, I knew he was a guy that I could work for. He is a well-established coach and a proven winner. Everything checked out and it was a no-brainer when I was officially offered the job.”
Slay joins a coaching staff that includes two other West Virginia natives, assistant coach Bob Bolen and Director of Basketball Operations Mark Richmond. Slay said those connections also played a huge role in his decision to come to Johnson City.
“Knowing the coaches on staff was an important factor,” Slay said. “Coach Bolen and I are from the same hometown and he has been a family friend my whole life. He even coached my brother Brian at Mountain State. Coach Richmond and I have known each other since high school and we coached against each other on the Division II level, so the ties are there. I plan to come in, work extremely hard, and do my part to help this program continue to build on its strong tradition.”
At Hargrave, Slay coached 10 players that signed national letters of intent to Division I programs. He also served as the team’s director of individual development and summer training. The Tigers finished with a 38-8 record and made the National Prep Showcase Elite 8 in 2012-13.
Slay also spent four years from 2008-2012 at West Virginia State as the squad’s associate head coach and recruiting coordinator. During that time, the Yellow Jackets won two West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships.
As a player at West Virginia State, Slay was a four-time captain and two-year starter. Playing guard, he guided his team to the NCAA Division II Sweet 16 three times (2004, 2006 and 2007) and the Yellow Jackets won back-to-back WVIAC Tournament Championships in 2006 and 2007. He received his undergraduate degree in General Education in 2008.
Basketball talent runs deep in the Slay family. His brother, Tamar, played at Marshall from 1998 to 2002 and was drafted by the New Jersey Nets in the second round of the 2002 NBA Draft. He played for the Nets in the 2003 NBA Finals. Meanwhile, his cousin Ron Slay played for some extremely successful teams at Tennessee and made a trip to the Sweet 16 as a freshman in 2000.
For more on ETSU men’s basketball throughout the summer months, visit ETSUBucs.com and click on the men’s hoops link.