Friday, January 30, 2009

Rumor: Slocum could return to Erie

I'll tell you my source on this later, but Jerry Slocum could be returning to Erie as either the Gannon athletic director or the Mercyhurst A.D. If I recall correctly, he was the A.D. at Geneva College (while also serving as head basketball coach) and was a finalist for the Gannon A.D. job before they awarded it to Griz Zimmerman (that worked out famously, didn't it?).

Rumors circulated during the GU search that Slocum was looking to leave the stressful world of coaching and move into a role as an administrator. I don't know if any of that was true, but I would guess that coaching over 1,000 college games could really weigh on a guy, especially one as intense as Jerry.

In my humble opinion, I think the Gannon job is a longshot, but the Mercyhurst position is plausible. Jerry was at Gannon for 9 years, and in that time span you're bound to tick off some people on campus, and those folks might bristle at his return. Plus, as author Thomas Wolfe wrote, you can't go home again.

Mercyhurst would love Slocum for many reasons, but these four especially:
  1. He knows Erie.
  2. He's in Division I, but he also has decades of private small college experience.
  3. He's a former Gannon guy. At one time, the Hurst administration was filled with GU alums (Bill Garvey, Tom Billingsley, Pete Russo), and many folks on the hill still have Gannon envy.
  4. Jerry's a high character guy. I don't think I need to elaborate on why that would be welcome in Laker land.

Sounds plausible, doesn't it? My source for this information is ... pure conjecture. Jerry could love life in Youngstown and may have signed a 1o-year contract extension this afternoon for all I know. But this is a fun scenario to talk about because it makes sense on many levels.

I started a rumor like this once before. In 2002 after Gannon women's coach Jodi Kest resigned, I said on my "SportsLook On The Air" radio show that a candidate for the job was Marcel Arribi, a GU alum and former Prep coach who was at the time a women's assistant at Fordham. I said back then on the air that I had no data to support this and was discussing it simply because it sounded interesting.

The next week the Erie paper listed some possible candidates to succeed Kest, and who was listed among them? You guessed it, Marcel Arribi. The day after that story ran, the Times issued a correction. Marcel had called them to say he was absolutely, positively, definitely, swear on the name of Booker Coleman not interested in the Gannon women's job.

If the Slocum-to-Mercyhurst story shows up in the paper, who know where you heard it first. And you'll know that I'll be just as surprised as you.


  1. I think Slocum would be a great AD for GU. He's a winner and has class. Something Ellias never had. He would bring instant respect back to the athletic department. Stabilize the coaching ranks in all sports. And help kids finish school (ie - the graduation rate). Now we just need him to get let go by YSU. Don't think it will happen!

    If not, bring back Tom Herman. He'd take the job for free. Just wants to be back at GU. Can't forgive himself for coaching at MC.

    BTW, screw the 'Hurst'! Thought of Slocum, even in a day-dream, heading up on the hill makes me sick!

  2. I would really prefer to not see Slocum sporting Maroon and Gold ever again in Erie, PA. I couldn't stand him as a coach and his attitude was horrible (side note.. very nice guy, met him on many occasions, but during the game was a whole different person). Now, I wouldn't mind seeing Coach Reilly show some more "passion" (which he has of late), heck, even maybe a "T" would be nice to see for energy reasons. But not anywhere near Slocum. He had some great teams and could never do anything with them (and this was when Findlay and GVSU were nobodys). He also had some horrible recruits (i.e.- Rich Bush, Pat Washington, Ron Hollis, etc).

    If he comes back to GU, I hope he is a better administrator that he was a coach... or GU will go down quickly.

    P.S.- I'd love to see him go to Mercyhurst, that way every time we beat Mercyhurst, I can just sit and laugh.