Mark Slessinger officially added to Graves' ISU basketball staff

May 1—Another formal step unfolded Wednesday in the completion of new Indiana State head coach Matthew Graves' men's basketball staff.

Graves announced that, as earlier reported, former University of New Orleans head coach Mark Slessinger has been added to the Sycamores staff. Slessinger coached the past 13 seasons at UNO, compiling records of 171-222 overall and 90-103 in the Southland Conference as the Privateers' head coach.

Other assistant slots are due to be added, as well. Justin Furr has remained on staff with Graves since former head coach Josh Schertz left on April 6 to accept an offer to lead the Saint Louis University program.

"This is an amazing opportunity to return home to Indiana and be a part of such a storied program that I grew up watching," Slessinger said in a release from ISU sports information. "The success that ISU has had the past three years has been incredible and clearly shows the potential that is here and in the Wabash Valley within the greatest basketball state in the country. I am excited to be able to serve our student-athletes here and be a part of such a dynamic and vibrant campus and community."

A Ellettsville native, Slessinger, also earlier served as an assistant at Aurora, Central Michigan and Northwestern State, as well as serving as head coach at Northland Pioneer College, a junior college, where his teams went 36-25 overall.

"I am absolutely thrilled that my good friend, Mark Slessinger, has decided to join the Sycamore Basketball family," Graves said in the release. "Coach Slessinger is bringing an unbelievable wealth of experience as a current DI head coach for the past 13 seasons. His knowledge and ability to effectively communicate are at the highest level. He will be a tremendous addition for not only the men's basketball program but the University and Wabash Valley area."

At New Orleans, Slessinger's 171 wins lead UNO's all-time coaching victories list. His Privateers teams reached postseason play four times since 2017, including back-to-back appearances for the first time in program history. His 2017 team was the Southland champion — the program's first such title in 20 years. That season, and others, added to Slessinger's list of awards. Those include SLC Coach of the Year, NABC's Region Co-Coach of the Year, Louisiana Sportswriter's Association Coach of the Year, two-time Louisiana Basketball Coaches Association Major College Coach of the Year, Eddie Robinson Award Winner, University of New Orleans Employee of the Year.

His 2017 title team included All-American Erik Thomas, who had a 10-year professional career overseas.

Slessinger and Graves have known each other for years.

"Coach Graves is someone I have known most of my life and has been one of my closest friends in the coaching business," said Slessinger. "The opportunity to return home to work with him was one that I just couldn't pass up. He is one of the brightest basketball minds in the business and I am excited to be a part of such an exciting style of play.

"I know my wife, Toni, and our children Holden, Nola Ann, and Beaux can't wait to get here, be an active part of campus and the Wabash Valley, and, of course, to be so close to their grandparents and family," he added. "We are grateful to be a part of the ISU family."