Photo by Barry BurlesonJeremy Ervin
Ervin new coach at MA
Jeremy Ervin knows full well about the tradition of Marshall Academy basketball.
He played at Indianola Academy, and he’s coached at Lee (Ark.), Parklane, Deer Creek, Winston and Bayou, all members of the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools, as is MA.
His new job is head coach of the Marshall girls and boys.
“I know basketball is a big deal here, and it’s a big deal to me,” Ervin said. “Marshall Academy has always had a great program.”
Ervin’s father, Paul, coached for 40 years in the Indianola area.
“I grew up around coaching – at track meets and basketball camps,” he said. “I knew at an early age that’s what I wanted to do, too.”
Ervin, 38, has had lots of playoff success as a coach – district titles, North State runners-up, final four – but he’s still searching for a state championship.
“I’ve never reached the pinnacle,” he said.
And that’s another reason he’s excited about coming to Marshall, which has won four boys state crowns, plus an overall championship, and one girls state title in the past eight years.
“The kids here have a great work ethic, and I will match that work ethic,” he said. “We all want to accomplish the same goals – championships.”
Ervin prides himself on being an encourager, coach and supporter from the sideline during games.
“I have a great enthusiasm for the game,” he said. “I’m coaching them, not just there watching a basketball game. I’m just as much into the game as the players, and I want them to know that. It’s contagious – the excitement.”
Coach Ervin has met with his new teams and laid out a summer schedule. It will include practice time, plus team camps.
“I’m looking forward to getting to know the players and creating a family atmosphere,” he said.
Ervin said defensively, his teams will change things up in the course of a game – some man-to-man, some zone, plus trapping and full-court pressure.
“It’s harder to scout us that way,” he said. “I like to keep them guessing.”
Offensively, the goal is simple, to get the best shot possible, he said.
“I like to be quick but not in a hurry,” Ervin said. “If the fast break is not there, back it out. Go hard, but not out of control.”
In addition to his coaching duties, Ervin will also be a classroom teacher at MA.
Barrett Donahoe, head of school at Marshall, said he is excited to have Ervin on board to guide the basketball program.
“I’m excited to have his energy and motivational skills,” Donahoe said. “And he fully understands the expectations of Marshall Academy basketball. I believe he’s a good fit.”