Workouts with Coach Shay
Jason Shay is in his 10th season on Bruce Pearl's staff and his sixth year at Tennessee.
"I've known Jason since he was a player at the University of Iowa," Pearl said. "He has played in this system and believes in this style of basketball. He was an overachiever as a player and has continued to work hard as an assistant coach. His experiences have helped him make tremendous contributions to our players' individual development.
"Jason is my lead scout. He's been able to take good players and make them better. He knows how to teach the game--both from an individual and a team standpoint."
Shay, who is responsible for recruiting and scouting in addition to administrative duties, came to Tennessee after spending four years on Pearl's staff at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM). He was an assistant coach for UWM's two NCAA Tournament appearances after spending his first two seasons as the director of basketball operations for the Panthers.
Scouting reports put together by Shay have helped lead the Vols to an average of 25.2 wins per season, an outright SEC championship in 2008, three SEC Eastern Division crowns and five straight NCAA Tournament appearances--including three Sweet Sixteen berths and the school's first-ever Elite Eight appearance in 2010.
That same season, Shay's scouting prowess helped Tennessee post historic wins over top-ranked and previously unbeaten Kansas as well as second-ranked Kentucky and fifth-ranked Ohio State.
Shay drew the scouting assignment against top-ranked Memphis in 2008, and Tennessee's 66-62 road victory over the Tigers vaulted the Vols into the No. 1 spot in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA TODAY polls for the first time in school history.
Having handled the Florida scout since joining the UT staff, Shay has helped the Vols post an 8-2 record against the Gators over the last five seasons.
Shay served as an assistant basketball coach and assistant sports information director at Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pa., before rejoining Pearl at UWM. He helped lead Mercyhurst to a top-five ranking in the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Region while assisting with on-court coaching strategies. Shay also was responsible for individual workouts, the team's strength program, film exchange, scouting reports and monitoring the academic progress of the student-athletes.
Shay played four seasons at the University of Iowa under the tutelage of Dr. Tom Davis. During that time, the Hawkeyes advanced to two NCAA Tournaments and won the 1992 San Juan Shootout. It was in Iowa City where Shay and Pearl first crossed paths, as Pearl was an assistant coach at Iowa from 1986-92.
He earned a degree in Health Promotion at Iowa and a master's in Sports Management from Western Illinois.
Shay and his wife, Jana, have a daughter, Peija, and a son, Joah.