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Fort Valley, GA —Fort Valley State University today announced the appointment of Mark D. Sherrill as head coach of the men’s basketball team. From a pool of almost eighty diverse candidates, Sherrill was selected by a search committee made up of staff, board members, and alumni. For the past 24 years, Sherrill has served as associate head men’s basketball coach for Charlotte, North Carolina’s Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU) Golden Bulls. He has been inducted into the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Hall of Fame. During his tenure coaching the Golden Bulls, the team won CIAA Western Division championships in 2001, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009 and Southern Division championships in 2016 and 2018. The team made it to the NCAA Division II tournament “Elite Eight” in 2001. Sherrill has also served as head men’s cross country coach and director of Johnson C. Smith’s basketball camp.
“Mark Sherrill is a proven coach with high character who will energize FVSU’s winning tradition,” said Anthony Holloman, vice president of advancement and interim athletic director. “We are confident that he will make an immediate impact using his unique perspective as a winning coach and a standout student athlete to recruit top talent, instill winning practices, and develop the athletic and academic skills of his players.”
At Johnson C. Smith, Sherrill recruited 43 All-Conference performers, 11 All-American performers, and three players who were named CIAA Players of the Year. His experience as an elite student athlete himself gives him unique insight into student academic and athletic success. Sherrill is the JCSU second all-time leading scorer with 2,552 points. He set a school record for most points in a season with 774 during the 1990-91 season and finished eighth in the nation in the 1991 rankings. He was named to the NCAA Division II All-American basketball team, the first male to do so in JCSU history. He was named CIAA Rookie of the Year and earned a first team All-South Atlantic Region selection from the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC).
“I am excited and blessed to be selected as the new head men’s basketball coach at Fort Valley State University,” said Coach Sherrill. “I am aware of the university’s rich tradition and the Wildcat Pride that is exemplified by students and generations of alumni. I look forward to representing FVSU and collaborating with students, faculty, staff, alumni, and supporters to uphold the legacy while promoting winning ways on and off the basketball court.”
The priority of the FVSU Athletics Division leadership is to create programming “where everyone wins, including teams, students, fans, and contributors.” Other members of the search committee echoed enthusiasm for Sherrill’s appointment and his ability to contribute to excellence at the university.
“Coach Sherrill stood out amongst a crowd of highly talented candidates with his exceptional display of leadership, organization, and vision for the future of Fort Valley State’s men’s basketball team,” said Dr. Krystal Conner, ’99, alumnus and search committee member. “He shows not only a passion for the game, but also a passion for seeing our student athletes succeed on and off the court.”
“Coach Sherrill is one of the most dedicated, loyal, and passionate people, you will find,” added J. Mack Willis,’68, alumnus and search committee member. “He’ll be great for Fort Valley because he’s a student athlete-first type of coach.”
Other statements about Coach Sherrill:
- Stephen Joyner, Sr., Director of Athletics and Head Men’s Basketball Coach, Johnson C. Smith University
“I am happy to congratulate Mark Sherrill as the new head men’s basketball coach at Fort Valley State University. Coach Sherrill has been a part of Johnson C. Smith University’s basketball program since 1988 when he earned the CIAA Rookie of the Year honor and was one of the best players in Golden Bulls basketball history.
It has been my pleasure to be a part of Mark’s growth and development during his 24 years as my assistant men’s basketball coach. We have won CIAA championships together and developed a generation of young men who are leaders in their professions and productive members of society.
Throughout his time as a basketball student-athlete and as my assistant coach, Mark has been like a son to me, so his leaving is bittersweet. I am excited for him to take this next step in his career but I will surely miss having him by my side. I wish Coach Sherrill much success, and I’m confident he will do a great job in building the basketball program at Fort Valley State University.”
- James Stinson, Head Men’s Basketball Coach, Livingstone College
“Mark Sherrill is a consummate professional. He is a passionate, loyal, and dedicated coach who’s hard work shows up within his players on the court and in the classroom. When recruiting these young men, he often has the ability to find the diamond in the rough, and molds them into championship form. Generally speaking, his longevity and tenure at Johnson C. Smith speaks to loyalty and dedication to the game. I have no doubt he will bring a culture of excellence on and off the court, a physical and mental toughness, and unmatched grit to the Fort Valley State program.”
- Edward Joyner, Jr., Head Men’s Basketball Coach, Hampton University
“Mark is one of the most dedicated, loyal and passionate people you will find. He’ll be great for Fort Valley State University because he’s a student-athlete first type coach. On the recruiting trail, he’s been one of the best in the country for years and that’s proven by the success they’ve had at Johnson C. Smith University.”
Founded in 1895, Fort Valley State University is one of the nation’s most innovative academic institutions, leveraging its unique role as a state and land-grant institution to make educational opportunity available for everyone. The university’s undergraduate and graduate campus and online degree programs enroll almost 3,000 students from all over the world. As part of its commitment to excellence, the university has produced more African-Americans with mathematics degrees than any other college in the nation in two of the past three years. FVSU students participate in more than 80 academic and civic organizations, honor societies and study abroad programs. FVSU is Georgia’s only 1890 land-grant institution, is part of the University System of Georgia, and a member of the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and NCAA Division II league. Learn more by visiting www.FVSU.edu.