Team preview: Youngstown State

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(Information in this team report is as of October 1.)

It didn't come as a shock to much of anyone that Youngstown State was searching for a new coach last spring. John Robic hadn't had much luck bringing the Penguins from the Mid-Continent Conference to their new home in the tougher Horizon League.

Youngstown's four-year record in the Horizon League stands at 12-52 after last season's 2-14 campaign.

The torch has been passed to veteran Jerry Slocum, who is new to Division I after a long history of success at the lower echelons.

Athletic director Ron Strollo had three primary attributes he wanted in a new coach: One, extensive head-coaching experience. Two, established recruiting contacts in the area of Northeast Ohio and Western Pennsylvania. Three, a guy who really wanted to be at Youngstown and become part of the community.

"In each category, coach Slocum was head over heels above the rest,'' Strollo said. "He has the vision to move our program forward in the Horizon League, where we can become very competitive on an annual basis.''

It won't happen overnight. The Penguins will be fighting an uphill battle until Slocum is able to bring in more talent. It could be a tough transition for the 53-year-old coaching veteran who says he doesn't do losing well.

Slocum arrives fresh from a nine-year stint at Division II Gannon in nearby Erie, Pa. His teams went 179-78 at Gannon. Before that he posted eight consecutive 20-win seasons before leaving Geneva College in NAIA. He got his start at Nyack College, where he won at least 20 games his final six seasons. It all adds up to 580-325.