College Basketball

Former Terps guard Duane Simpkins joins Towson's staff

Duane Simpkins, who played point guard at Maryland from 1992 through 1995, will join Pat Skerry's new staff at Towson University as director of basketball operations.

"He's a bright guy, a young coach who is connected to the area," Skerry said Friday. "He'll be a good example for the guys of what it takes to be a successful student."

Simpkins had been head coach at St. Albans, an all-boys school in Washington, the past four years. He also coached two years at Sidwell Friends School in Washington.

"I'm extremely excited, not only because I'll be working with Pat, but because it'll also be an up-close view of him going about the business of college coaching," Simpkins said. "It's a great proving ground."

At St. Albans, Simpkins helped restore the basketball program to a competitive level. That's an experience that could serve Towson well, too. The Tigers have had 15 consecutive losing seasons and went 4-26 this year.

At College Park, Simpkins started three years for the Terps, averaging 9.4 points — and made 81.2 percent of his free throws — over 119 career games.

Skerry's first staff is now in place. Kevin Clark (Rhode Island) was hired last week as the lead recruiter, and he'll be joined by Luke Murray, an assistant at Wagner College, and Ken Johnson, an assistant at Paul VI High in Fairfax City, Va.

"We got a strong coach, a total package guy, in Kevin Clark," Skerry said. "He's just what I needed at this level. In Luke and Kenny, we have two young aggressive recruiters who give us strong grassroot ties from New England to Northern Virginia."

Murray spent one year at the University of Arizona (2009-10) and has coached two AAU teams — the New England Playaz and the New York Gauchos. Johnson has AAU ties with Nike's Team Takeover.

In addition to 6-foot guard Kris Walden, signed last spring out of Richmond, Va., Skerry also has commitments from Deon Jones, a 6-5 wing player from Sanford School (Del.), and 6-6 guard Marcus Damas from Westchester (N.Y.) Community College.

Skerry said that 6-4 guard Will Adams, signed two years ago by Towson before being diagnosed with cancer, will play next season as a freshman.