April 14, 2014

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MARTIN, Tenn. – University of Tennessee at Martin head men’s basketball coach Heath Schroyer has announced two assistant coaches with the hires of Jermaine Johnson and Thomas Gray.

Johnson joins the Skyhawks from Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Ga., where he helped the Eagles to the Southern Conference tournament semifinals.

A Memphis native, Johnson made a name for himself as head coach of the highly successful Melrose High School boys’ basketball program from 2007-13. He developed Melrose into a top-25 program in the nation after he won five straight District 16 AAA championships and the 2010 TSSAA Class AAA state title. During his tenure, he coached 24 seniors and all 24 players received college scholarships.

Johnson also had coaching stops at Ridgeway High School (his alma mater), Cordova High School and Craigmont High School, where he began his coaching career.

At Melrose, Johnson coached McDonald’s All-American Adonis Thomas while also coaching an eventual National Junior College Player of the Year and two All-Americans. All in all, he has coached 12 professional players, including eight who played in the NBA.

Johnson, 36, played collegiately at Texas-Arlington for two seasons and earned his degree from the United States Sports Academy in 2007.

“Jermaine has been a successful head coach in this region and has great ties in the state of Tennessee, which is where we wanted to establish ourselves in recruiting since Day One,” Schroyer said. “He is a great motivator and floor coach and is a rising star in the business. We are fortunate to have him here.”

Gray, 27, comes to UT Martin from Southwest Mississippi Community College in Summit, Miss., where he has spent the last three seasons. He helped the Bears to a runner-up finish in the MACJC South Division in 2012-13 while the team earned back-to-back trips to the state and NJCAA Region 23 tournament. During his tenure, he has helped six players further their playing careers to Division-I schools and presided over two All-Americans.

Before joining the Southwest Mississippi staff, Gray was an assistant at Mississippi College for two seasons. His coaching career began in 2006 as a high school head coach at Rebul Academy in Learned, Miss. He also spent one year as an assistant coach at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Jackson, Miss.

Born in Memphis, Tenn., Gray grew up in Columbia, Miss. and won the 2004 MPSA 2A state championship while prepping at Columbia Academy. He would later graduate from Mississippi College in 2008 after a successful four-year playing career.

“I have known Thomas for many years and I have watched him grow and develop as a coach,” Schroyer said. “He has a bright future in this profession. He is smart, organized and can recruit at a very high level, as well as coach at a very high level.”

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