Shay volunteers to share his hoops knowledge

From the Register-Mail:

For a guy who graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in health promotion, Jason Shay has done all right for himself as a basketball coach.

The former Galesburg High School star is about to begin his seventh season as a top assistant for Bruce Pearl at Tennessee, where he has helped the Volunteers to five straight NCAA appearances, an SEC title and a stint as the nation’s No. 1-ranked team along the way.

Not bad for a former Hawkeyes walk-on who once served as a freshman assistant coach at GHS and was a combination sports information assistant/assistant basketball coach at Mercyhurst College to start his coaching career.

“I just didn’t compete enough in the classroom — like my brother Beau — to get into a professional medical-type school,” said Shay. “I did an internship in San Diego and moving away from the Midwest made me realize how much I missed basketball and athletics and that’s what made me decide to pursue my coaching career.”

Shay returned to his hometown this weekend to participate in a coaches clinic Sunday at Knox College and enjoyed a mini-reunion of sorts with former members of the Silver Streaks program like his former coach Barry Swanson, former Streaks assistant Thom Sigel, now head coach at Rock Island and former GHS player Ryan Webber, now Moline’s head coach.

Shay said the best part of the homecoming came Saturday night.

“It’s fun. Last night we got together a group of us here in the locker room and they asked me questions,” he said. “We had a more intimate setting and got more detailed and we talked for four hours. We went to the wee hours of the morning.”