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Bartow adds Slay as assistant at ETSU

June 19th, 2014 8:03 pm by Joe Avento

East Tennessee State basketball coach Murry Bartow filled one hole on his staff on Thursday with the hiring of Jason Slay as an assistant coach.

Slay, whose cousin Ron played for Tennessee, comes to ETSU from Tennessee State, where he spent one year.

“I think he will be great, I really do,” Bartow said. “Jason is a really upbeat guy. I think he’ll be a really good recruiter. He just has a great personality and he’s one of those guys that’s very upbeat and very energetic. He’s really good with the players and has a great attitude.”

Bartow began last season with an entire new staff consisting of assistants Bob Bolen and Thomas Carr and director of basketball operations Mark Richmond. Carr recently took a job at UNC-Wilmington to be an assistant to Kevin Keatts.

“When you hire somebody really good and pretty young, the fear is that he’ll be gone,” Bartow said. “We had Thomas for a year and now he’s gone. That’s the fear with Jason. He’s that good.”

Slay’s hiring leaves one opening on Bartow’s staff. The Bucs spent last season with two assistants instead of the usual three.

“I’m going to hire one more, I just haven’t done it yet,” Bartow said. “It wasn’t ideal last year, but we were able to do what we needed to do and had a pretty good team and a pretty good year.”

Before his year at Tennessee State, Slay was director of basketball operations at Georgia Southern and an assistant coach at Hargrave Military Academy. As a player, he was a four-year captain at West Virginia State, a school he helped make three NCAA Division II Sweet 16 appearances. His brother Tamar played at Marshall from 1998-2002 and was drafted by the New Jersey Nets.

“I am blessed and extremely excited about the opportunity Coach Bartow and the ETSU family has given me,” Slay said. “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 is from Beckley, W.Va., the same hometown as Bolen. Richmond is also from West Virginia.

“Knowing the coaches on staff was an important factor,” Slay said. “Coach Bolen 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.”

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