Jason Shay, who had been an assistant under Steve Forbes for the past five seasons, has been elevated to head coach at East Tennessee State. This is the first head coaching opportunity for Shay, who spent ten years working under Bruce Pearl in addition to seven with Forbes.
“In talking with numerous athletic administrators and basketball minds across the country, everyone had incredible praise for Coach Shay,” AD Scott Carter said on Wednesday. “His connection to our student-athletes, wealth of basketball experience, competitiveness and knowledge of the game will be invaluable as our head coach. The entire ETSU family is behind Coach Jason Shay and cannot wait for the future of Buccaneer Basketball.”
Shay was named interim head coach following Forbes’ departure for Wake Forest last week. The school interviewed a number of other candidates from outside the program before deciding that Shay was the best choice moving forward.
“Throughout this process, one name continued to emerge and that was Jason Shay,” said ETSU President Dr. Brian Noland. “Coach Shay is widely recognized as one of the brightest basketball minds in America and we are excited that he and his family are deepening their roots in the Appalachian Highlands. I am confident that Coach Shay will build on the tradition of excellence that he has established over the past five years and lead the program to new heights.”
Shay first arrived at ETSU in 2015 after spending the previous two seasons at North Dakota. We was a walk-on for Dr. Tom Davis at Iowa and his coaching career also includes stops at Milwaukee, Tennessee and Northwest Florida State (the latter with Forbes).
“I am humbled, excited and thankful for this opportunity with Dr. Noland and Scott Carter entrusting me to be the leader of the ETSU men’s basketball program,” Shay said in the release. “I understand the expectations and standards that have been built for the men’s basketball program, and guarantee I am going to give my very best every day.”
The Buccaneers are coming off a second SoCon title in four years and would have been playing in the 2020 NCAA Tournament. There will be some turnover on the roster, however, as four of last year’s top six scorers were seniors.
credit to East Tennessee State Athletics for the image