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With Towson off to record start, men's basketball coach Pat Skerry agrees to extension

Towson men's basketball coach Pat Skerry looks on during the first half of game during the 2016-17 season. The Tigers have won 10 consecutive games and are off to their best start in their Division I history at 10-1.
Towson men's basketball coach Pat Skerry looks on during the first half of game during the 2016-17 season. The Tigers have won 10 consecutive games and are off to their best start in their Division I history at 10-1. (Karl Merton Ferron / Baltimore Sun)

Men’s basketball coach Pat Skerry and Towson University have agreed to a contract extension, the school announced Tuesday.

The deal is pending approval from the University System of Maryland Board of Regents. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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“Coach Skerry has consistently finished in the top three of the conference every year and he is knocking on the door to get this program to the NCAA tournament,” Towson athletic director Tim Leonard said in a statement announcing the extension. “I couldn’t be more pleased with the job Pat has done.

“Coach Skerry is well-regarded throughout college basketball as an outstanding coach and a man who conducts his program with integrity and class. Not only has he attained incredible success on the court, he is also a leader in our community. This spring when other schools started talking with Pat, we worked over the summer to get this done. He’s an important fixture here at Towson and I feel he’s the coach that will get us to the NCAA tournament.”

Over the past five seasons, the Tigers have won 105 games, including a Colonial Athletic Association-best 53 conference wins. They have three 20-win seasons over that span and are coming off consecutive 20-win seasons for the first time in program history. The Tigers have made two postseason appearances in the past four seasons.

This season, Towson has won 10 consecutive games and is off to its best start in its Division I history at 10-1. The Tigers have received at least one vote in the Associated Press Top 25 poll each of the past three weeks.

“I am excited for the continued opportunity to serve Towson University,” Skerry said in a statement. “I am especially thankful to [president] Dr. [Kim] Schatzel and Mr. Leonard for their belief in me and our program. My family and I love Towson, both the university and the community. I’ve been fortunate to work with great people on campus, an outstanding basketball staff and most importantly, our student-athletes, past and present.”

Skerry has a 100-percent graduation rate, and Towson had a perfect four-year score in the latest Academic Progress Rate numbers released earlier this year. The Tigers also earned recognition from the NCAA for scores in the top 10 percent of their sport.

Under Skerry, the Tigers have also contributed in the community, ranking first in Division I men's team sports for their community service activities in this year’s NCAA Team Works Helper Helper Community Service Competition.

In April, Skerry was the recipient of the Gene Bartow Award, which recognizes outstanding achievement and contributions to the game. Skerry, along with current South Florida assistant coach Tom Herrion, started Coaches Powering Forward, an autism awareness weekend each season in college basketball in which coaches and media members wear a blue pin on their lapel.

Skerry was named CAA Coach of the Year after the 2012-13 season after leading Towson to the best single-season turnaround in Division I history, as the Tigers went from 1-31 to 18-13. He was also recognized by the National Association of Basketball Coaches with the Guardian of the Game Award.

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