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Towson announces contract extension for hoops coach Skerry

Posted on 15 August 2013 by WNST Staff

New Agreement Extends Contract Through 2018-19 Season

– Towson University head men’s basketball coach Pat Skerry has agreed to terms on a two-year contract extension. The new agreement will extend the term of Skerry’s contract through the 2018-19 season.

“Watching Coach Skerry’s historic turnaround with the Towson men’s basketball program both academically and competitively in the last two years, we are excited to announce this extension,” said interim Director of Athletics Tricia Turley Brandenburg. “Pat and his staff have done a tremendous job developing and recruiting the type of student-athletes that are willing to work hard on the court and in the classroom. With the opening of SECU Arena this year, Towson is poised to be an annual contender in the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) and carry the banner for its alumni and the city of Baltimore. A stable and winning basketball program will only provide more financial security to our department and provide all of our teams the resources needed to be successful.”

Skerry took over the Towson program in the spring of 2011 and immediately faced steep uphill challenges as the program was coming off a 4-26 season and looking at NCAA sanctions for poor performances in the Academic Performance Rates (APR).

After facing a difficult rebuilding year in 2011-12 where the Tigers returned just one letterwinner and posted a mark of 1-31, Towson made NCAA history in 2012-13 as the team posted the largest single-season turnaround, going 18-13 overall and finishing in second place in the CAA. It was Towson’s first winning basketball season in 17 years (1995-96) and the most wins since 1993-94. The Tigers were led by Associated Press Honorable Mention All-America selection and 2013 CAA Player of the Year Jerrelle Benimon (17.1 ppg, 11.2 rpg), who transferred to Towson from Georgetown along with two other former BIG EAST Conference players – Bilal Dixon (Providence College) and Mike Burwell (USF) – in Skerry’s first recruiting class.

Skerry has also orchestrated the same kind of turnaround academically as the team posted a single-season APR scores of 939 in 2011-12 with a higher score expected for 2012-13. Towson is now eligible for CAA and NCAA postseason play. The team also holds a cumulative GPA of 2.928.

“I came here to Towson to build a basketball program that would represent this institution both athletically and academically and make our fans and alumni proud,” said Skerry. “Our hard work and dedication as players and coaches is paying off and now we step into SECU Arena, one of the best facilities anywhere on the east coast.

“We would not be primed for greatness if it was not for the support of our President Maravene Loeschke and our athletics administration over the last two years. I also want to thank our interim Director of Athletics Tricia Turley Brandenburg for her time and persistence negotiating this contract extension. There has never been a better time to be a Tiger.”

The Tigers officially open the 2013-14 season and the new SECU Arena on Friday, Nov. 8 as part of a men/women’s doubleheader vs. Navy. Season tickets for Towson basketball are available by calling 1-855-TU-TIGERS or by going online to TowsonTigers.com.

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Interim Towson AD Brandenburg named NAAC Vice President

Posted on 25 July 2013 by WNST Staff


Tigers’ Deputy Director of Athletics Named To NACDA’s Compliance Administrators Organization

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Tricia Turley Brandenburg, the interim athletics director at Towson University, has been elected to serve as 3rd Vice-President of the National Association for Athletics Compliance (NAAC), it was announced by NAAC officials.

Administered by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), NAAC is in its 16th year and serves as the professional and educational association of senior compliance administrators.

Julie Cromer, the executive associate athletics director and senior women’s administrator at Indiana University, was elected to serve as president during the upcoming year.

Also elected to serve as officers for the 2013-14 were 1st Vice President Josh White, the senior associate athletics director at the University of Nebraska Omaha, and 2nd Vice President Dan Bartholomae, the associate athletics director at the University of Pittsburgh.

Brandenburg, who has been a part of the Tiger athletics program since December of 2012, was also named to the NCAA Committee On Institutional Performance in June.

A native of Ilion, N.Y., Brandenburg joined the Towson program after spending the last four-plus years in a compliance role at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. She served as an Associate (2008-11) and then Senior Associate (2011-2012) Director of Athletics.

She received a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University in Industrial & Labor Relations and a Master of Science degree from Northeastern University in Leadership. She now resides in Towson, Md., with her husband James.


– TowsonTigers.com –

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APR progress means Towson basketball postseason ban lifted

Posted on 11 June 2013 by WNST Staff


Tigers Show Significant Progress In NCAA Report


TOWSON, Md. – According to the Division I Academic Progress Report released by the NCAA on Tuesday, every one of Towson University’s 20 intercollegiate athletic programs received a score that is significantly above the NCAA’s “cut score.”

All but one of Towson University’s 20 intercollegiate sports has a multi-year Academic Progress Rate (APR) score of at least 930. The Tiger women’s soccer and cross country programs each earned a perfect multi-year APR score of 1,000.

Most significantly, the Tiger men’s basketball program, which was the recipient of a post-season ban last year, has had the ban lifted and the Tigers will be eligible for post-season play again in 2014.

The Tiger field hockey team earned a 997 APR score while the women’s outdoor track team posted a mark of 992. The Colonial Athletic Association champion women’s swimming team earned a 991 while the indoor track squad had a 990 APR score.

In addition, the softball squad had a 987 APR while the Colonial Athletic Association champion women’s lacrosse team posted a 986 APR score. The Tiger men’s swimming team earned a 982 APR score and the CAA champion baseball team compiled a 978 score.

The NCAA holds Division I institutions accountable for the academic progress of their student-athletes through the Academic Progress Rate, a team-based metric that accounts for the eligibility and retention of each student-athlete, each term. The APR is calculated by allocating points for eligibility and retention — the two factors that are identified as the best indicators of graduation. Each player on a given roster earns a maximum of two points per term, one for being academically eligible and one for staying with the institution. A team’s APR is the total points of a team’s roster at a given time divided by the total points possible. Since the result is a decimal number, the Committee on Academic Performance (CAP) decided to multiply it by 1,000 for ease of reference. Thus, a raw APR score of .925 translates into the 925 that will become the standard terminology.

The Committee on Academic Performance oversees the Academic Performance Program, with sets policies and recommends legislative changes to the Board of Directors, which has the final say on rules changes in Division I.

Beginning with 2012-13 championships, teams must earn a minimum 900 four-year APR or a 930 average over the most recent two years to be eligible to participate. For 2014-15 championships, the cut off numbers increase as teams must earn a 930 four-year average APR or a 940 average over the most recent two years to participate. In 2015-16 and beyond, teams must earn a four-year APR of 930 to compete in championships.

“Our APR scores are a credit to our student-athletes,” said Tricia Brandenburg, the Interim Director of Athletics at Towson University. “It is also a credit to the cooperation our students receive when working with the faculty on the difficult task of balancing academic and athletics responsibilities. In addition, our coaches deserve credit for establishing a culture for academic achievement. Our strong academic services staff has provided outstanding support for student-athletes in need. It is truly a team effort.”

Towson University’s sport-by-sport APR scores:

                                                      Team APR                          

Baseball –                                                        978                  

Men’s Basketball –                                             871                  

Football –                                                          953                  

Men’s Golf –                                                      932                  

Men’s Lacrosse –                                               945                 

Men’s Soccer –                                                  957                  

Men’s Swimming –                                             982                 

Women’s Basketball –                                        953                  

Women’s Cross Country –                                   1000                

Field Hockey –                                                   997                  

Women’s Golf –                                                  944                 

Gymnastics –                                                     976                  

Women’s Lacrosse –                                           986                  

Women’s Soccer –                                              1000                

Softball –                                                          987                  

Women’s Swimming –                                         991                   

Women’s Tennis –                                              992                  

Women’s Indoor Track –                                     990                  

Women’s Outdoor Track –                                   992                  

Volleyball –                                                       973   

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