- Anthony Ray
The HBCU Nation Radio Show with Coach Eric Strothers
Mr. Anthony Ray talks with Coach Eric Strothers, head basketball coach of the Tougaloo Bulldogs.
Coach Strothers is no stranger to the basketball court or coaching. He spent three decades as an assistant coach at Jackson State and Mississippi Valley State Universities.
While currently holding the record for most wins at Tougaloo as a first time head coach, Coach Strothers cares more about his players winning in life than on the court. He ensures they earn degrees. Strothers enacted academic study hall for each player to make sure his players are excelling in education. In addition, Coach Strothers recruits ‘young’ athletes to nurture and develop their skills throughout their tenure at Tougaloo to build a winning team. It’s a life lesson, he learned through his own experience.
Strothers was a walk on at Jackson State University where he made a great impact. He was the team's most valuable player, both as a junior and senior. In 2018, Coach Strothers was inducted into Jackson State University's and SWAC's Hall of Fame.
Strothers had a professional stint in the Continental Basketball Association (CBA) and overseas. Afterwards, the criminal justice graduate decided to go back to his alma mater and earn a master's degree in physical education which he credits for creating his coaching path.
A large portion of his coaching experience took place at JSU where he spent 20 years as an assistant. His expertise as a coach was also a contributing factor in the Tigers three appearances in the NCAA Tournament. He later left for Mississippi Valley in a similar role and added to his legacy. Coach Strothers also worked on the coaching staff at Tougaloo College where the team won the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC) titles with an appearance in the NAIA Tournament.
In addition to his college coaching duties, Coach Strothers is also a founder of the nonprofit, Percy Strothers Foundation which helps send students to college. Strothers also holds a Camp Strut Basketball Camp each summer to develop players. Plus, Strothers mentors elementary students at several Jackson area schools teaching them early life coping skills through obedience to elders, teachers and coaches plus the importance of team building and working as a team.