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Jerry Eaves enters his eighth season as the head men's basketball coach at North Carolina A&T. He is the third longest tenured coach in Aggies history behind legendary coaches Cal Irvin and Don Corbett. Eaves also has the third highest tenure among MEAC coaches behind Coppin State's Ron "Fang" Mitchell and Delaware State's Greg Jackson.
While he has yet to bring the Aggies to conference championship glory like the aforementioned names, he has led the men's basketball program to some of the most significant victories in school history.
Eaves has consistently defeated teams from conferences who have a higher RPI ranking than the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. The biggest win perhaps was a 96-93 win over DePaul of the Big East in 2007. The Big East is one of the six power conferences in the country along with the SEC, ACC, Big 12, Pac 10 and Big 10. The Aggies win marked just the second time in school history the Aggies beat a team from a Power 6 Conference.
A year earlier, Eaves led the Aggies to an 80- 76 win over Southern Methodist University of Conference USA. Eaves' mid-major victories include wins over Coastal Carolina, Texas Pan-American, High Point and just last season the Aggies put together their biggest home win (in terms of RPI ranking) in school history when they defeated Middle Tennessee State.
Over his first seven seasons, Eaves won 72 games. It is the third highest win total in school history behind Irvin and Corbett. His home record has been impressive. The Aggies are 34-14 at home over the last four seasons.
Eaves took over a one-win program with just four returning players and two scholarship players and turned it into a team that consistently contends among the top teams in the MEAC. The Aggies are 34-32 over the last four years in the MEAC, including a stretch where they finished above .500 in the MEAC three straight seasons. It was a feat the Aggies program had not accomplished since the early 90's.
The Aggies constantly improved under Eaves. He won 15 games over the first three years of his tenure at N.C. A&T. In the last four seasons, the Aggies have won 57 games, become one of the most prolific 3-point shooting teams in the nation and have finished top four in the conference three out of the last four seasons. Eaves' 15-win total in 2006-2007 was the program's best season in 10 years. He repeated the feat in 2007-08. Two years ago, the Aggies reached the 16-win plateau. It was the most wins the Aggies have had since the 1993-94 team that won 16 games.
Eaves has also established the Aggies return to respectability by having a player lead the league in scoring in Sean Booker, another player became one of the best 3-point shooters in the nation in Steven Rush and one of the best shot blockers in the nation in Thomas Coleman.
Eaves' hard work in turning around the Aggies program earned him the 2008-09 National Association of Basketball Coaches District 15 Coach of the Year. Eaves led the Aggies to a 16-16 mark overall and the Aggies 9-7 record earned them third place in the MEAC after being picked eighth in the preseason. Eaves also led the Aggies to their longest winning streak in 18 seasons when the Aggies went 8-0 in the month of February.
Eaves not only excels in bringing great talent to N.C. A&T, but he also has made it a habit to recruit outstanding student-athletes. Recent recruits such as Thomas Coleman, Steven Rush, Marc Hill and Austin Ewing have excelled in the classroom as well as the court. He has one of the highest Academic Progress Rates in all of black college athletics.
When he arrived on N.C. A&T's campus, he brought with him a wealth of experience after numerous stints on both the collegiate and professional levels as an assistant. Eaves came to Greensboro after one season on John Lucas' Cleveland Cavaliers staff. Before he came to Cleveland, Eaves spent three seasons in Charlotte, N.C., where he was an assistant for the then-Charlotte Hornets. He worked under Paul Silas, the organization's all-time leader in wins.
Both Eaves and Silas were on the New Jersey Nets staff during the 1994-95 season when they were assistants under then-head coach Butch Beard. It was the first of two campaigns that Eaves would spend working for Beard before returning to his alma mater, the University of Louisville, as an assistant to Hall of Fame coach Denny Crum.
Eaves spent three seasons (1996-99) at Louisville, helping lead the Cardinals to a combined 57 40 record and two NCAA Tournament appearances. Prior to his stints with New Jersey and Louisville, he was an associate head coach at Howard University for four years under Beard (1990-94), supervising recruiting, scheduling travel and practices. He helped the Bison win the school's only MEAC Championship in 1992 and a berth in the NCAA Tournament.
As an NBA professional, Eaves played in the league for four seasons. The Utah Jazz selected Eaves in the third round (55th overall pick) of the 1982 NBA Draft. Eaves appeared in 162 games in two complete seasons for Utah and also played for the Atlanta Hawks (1984-85) and Sacramento Kings (1985-86). He averaged 6.7 points and 2.5 assists in 168 career NBA games. For the 1989-90 season, Eaves served as a scout for the Utah Jazz before he began pursuing his passion of coaching on the collegiate and professional levels.
At Louisville, Eaves was the starting point guard on the 1980 NCAA championship team that defeated UCLA in the final game in Indianapolis. It was Eaves who made the decisive defensive stop on UCLA standout forward and former Denver Nuggets general manager Kiki Vandeweghe to help the Cardinals win the game. In four seasons with the Cardinals, Eaves averaged 9.7 points, on 50.5-percent shooting from the floor, 2.6 assists and 1.8 rebounds in 129 career games.
He was named All-Metro Conference for the 1980-81 season. Eaves ranked 30th on the school's all-time scoring list with 1,250 points. He was inducted into the University of Louisville Athletic Hall of Fame. Prior to Jerry Eaves' arrival at the University of Louisville, he was a star at Ballard High School as a three-year starter. He earned a selection as a McDonald's All-American following his senior season (1978). He led Ballard to a state championship during that same season.
A native of Louisville, Ky., Eaves earned a degree in business and sports management from the University of Louisville in 1986. Eaves has four children: Lee Anne, Ashley, Frankie and Anthony. He lives with his wife Shelia in Greensboro.