LEXINGTON, Va. - Virginia Military Institute head basketball coach Dan Earl has added three hires to the coaching staff for the 2015-16 season.
Named to the Keydet coaching staff are assistant coaches Steve Lepore, Chris Kreider, and Jason Slay.
Lepore comes to VMI from Hargrave (Va.) Military Academy where he served as assistant basketball coach for the past two seasons and also was head strength and conditioning coach. While Lepore was at Hargrave, the post-graduate squad posted a 77-15 record and attained third and fifth national rankings. Lepore helped develop several Hargrave players who landed at power conferences such as the ACC, Big Ten, and SEC. Lepore’s coaching resume also includes an extended run as an assistant coach at his alma mater St. Edward High School in Lakewood, Illinois where he worked with the freshman team during 2004-05, then after a year playing professionally came back as a varsity assistant coach from 2006 through 2011.
Lepore played collegiately at Wake Forest in 2001-02 and 2002-03 where he received his B.A. in Communications with a minor in International Studies. Lepore began his college career at Northwestern and played two years in 1999 and 2000 before transferring. After graduation, Lepore had stints in professional basketball both overseas and in the U.S. He was a member of USA Basketball Junior World Championship Team as a shooting guard in 1998 and 1999.
Lepore also worked in private business as a regional marketing and custom business manager for both Spalding and Russell Athletic.
Kreider brings ten years of college basketball experience to Lexington including stops at three Division I schools. He comes to VMI from George Mason where he served as an assistant from 2011-15 where he was instrumental in signing one of the top recruiting classes in the Atlantic 10 in 2014 and also helped recruit a class in 2011 that was ranked 10th among mid-major institutions according to ESPN.com.
Kreider also has Southern Conference coaching experience and served for two years (2009-11) as an assistant when the Eagles were members of the league. He was also at Georgia Tech for two seasons working as a volunteer assistant coach in 2007-08 and men’s basketball administrative coordinator in 2008-09. He began his coaching career in 2006 as a volunteer assistant men’s basketball coach in 2006 at Division II University of South Carolina-Aiken in the Peach Belt Conference.
A native of Hummelstown, Pa., Kreider began his coaching career at the University of Great Falls in Montana where he served one year as assistant coach in 2002-03 before coaching high school basketball at St. Francis in Alpharetta, Ga. for three years.
Kreider played college basketball at three colleges starting at Mansfield State for one season before transferring to Grove City (Pa.) College where in his junior season he led the Wolverines in scoring (12.3 ppg) and steals (52). Kreider finished his career at Lebanon Valley where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish in 2003.
Slay was the most recent addition to the staff and comes to Lexington from extensive SoCon experience from conference rival East Tennessee State University where he spent last season. Slay also served as an assistant coach at Tennessee State University in 2013-14 and was the Director of Basketball Operations at Georgia Southern when it was in the SoCon in 2012-13. Prior to working in the college ranks, Slay was the top assistant coach at Hargrave Military Academy where he coached 10 players that signed national letters of intent to Division I programs. He also served as the team’s director of individual development and summer training and the Tigers finished with a 38-8 record and made the National Prep Showcase Elite 8 in 2012-13.
Slay also coached four years (2008-2012) at his alma mater of West Virginia State serving as associate head coach and recruiting coordinator and was a part of two West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships. He received his undergraduate degree in General Education in 2008.
As a college player at West Virginia State, Slay was a four-time captain and two-year starter and helped guide his team to the NCAA Division II Sweet 16 in 2004, 2006, and 2007.) He recived a degree in General Education in 2008.
Slay’s family has deep basketball ties as older brother Tamar played at Marshall and in the NBA for the New Jersey Nets after being drafted in the second round. His cousin, Ron, also played for Tennessee and made a trip to the Sweet 16 as a freshman in 2000.
“I am extremely excited about adding Chris Kreider, Steve Lepore and Jason Slay to our coaching staff at VMI,” said Earl. “We have three assistant coaches who have a great level of experience in the game of basketball and two have served at military schools. Each of them will be involved in many different aspects of our basketball program, including recruiting and player development. All are former college basketball players, so they understand what it is like to be a student athlete. Most importantly, they are tremendous people – who have high character – and they will be positive influences on our players here at VMI.”