Hard Work Leads To Success For BCC Basketball Coach
By Space Coast Daily // July 6, 2012
Resurrecting The Titans
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – If nothing else Jeremy Shulman is about accountability.
Entering his third season as head coach of Brevard Community College’s men’s basketball team, the 32-year-old Nashville native has the program well-grounded and on solid footing having won 18 and 21 games respectively in his first two seasons.
That’s more victories than the program accounted for over the past seven years combined when it recorded just 34.
The accomplishments strike a chord with Shulman’s boss, BCC Athletic Director Jeff Carr.
“He has recruited better student-athletes who are succeeding in the classroom, giving the young men more options to go on to the next level.” BCC Athletic Director Jeff Carr talking about BCC mens’ basketball coach Jeremy Shulman.
“Jeremy has instilled discipline in the program on and off the court,” Carr said. “He has recruited better student-athletes who are succeeding in the classroom, giving the young men more options to go on to the next level.
“Jeremy has turned around the program on the court. We were a guaranteed win for many opponents before he got here, now we are getting state recognition as a team and are considered one of the better teams in the state. Jeremy’s work rate is exceptional, he recruits non-stop and he is relentless in everything he does. BCC is fortunate to have him.”
Shulman’s success can be traced back to the quality of the players he is recruiting and the no nonsense structure of the program in which they are playing.
“I want to bring in good kids, good people, good human beings,” Shulman said. “It makes my job a lot easier to coach good people.
“If they’re not going to do right in my system, if they’re not going to do right off the court, if they’re not going to do what I expect of them and demand of them academically and discipline wise they’re not going to be a part of the program.
“I think that builds unity, I think that builds team chemistry, I think it builds a real family atmosphere which really produces successful results on the court.”
Shulman came to Brevard from the national-level program at East Mississippi Community College in Scooba, Miss., where he was an assistant under Mark White. Shulman credits White with instilling the virtues of accountability and discipline.
To that end, Shulman is up front with his expectations in the recruiting process.
“First and foremost,” he said. “I know if I have a kid who can’t buy into that then I am not going to waste a scholarship by sending him home.
“Secondly, you’re always looking for an edge in the recruiting business. We’ve got a great situation here but we’re still not at the level of scholarships . . . like Northwest Florida or Chipola. Our big selling point is we are going to get it done academically.
“I can look a parent directly in the eyes and be as honest as possible with them: ‘If your son comes here he’s going to be made to go to class, he’s going to have to sit in the front two rows, we’re going to have four, hour-and-a-half study halls, he’s not going to be able to wear a hat in class, he’s not going to be able to text message in class.'”
That’s not all.
Shulman and his assistants also regularly make apartment checks to ensure players are keeping their residences clean and staying out of trouble.
And yes, Shulman says his apartment is clean.
Should one of Shulman’s players stray in breaking any of the rules listed in the binders they receive before the season then everyone pays the price.
“We’re going to run them,” Shulman said. “They know it. They don’t like to run.”
The discipline applies everywhere. If a player fails to sign the sheet on Shulman’s office door by 7:45 AM each day of classes, the whole team runs. If a player is late for practice the whole team runs. If a player shows any attitude during practice, or even fails to block out and gives up a rebound during a drill, his team runs.
“We’ve got to get everyone buying in and realize that everyone has to do right,” Shulman said.
After all, it’s a team and basketball is a team sport.
Shulman has a solid basketball background. He played in high school at Nashville’s University School and made the team as a walk-on at Middle Tennessee State but passed on playing to concentrate on academics and coaching his successful AAU team Tennessee’s Midstate Ballerz.
His approach honed over the years is simple: passionate.
“I’m very, very energetic,” he said. “I’m very passionate. I think the energy and the passion I’ve got for the game and for coaching, I think it rubs off on my players. I like to think we’ve got structure but we motivate as a system.
Naturally he expects the same from his players.
“Play the game the way it is meant to be played which is playing it as hard as you can,” he said. “Anytime you step between those lines it doesn’t matter whether you’re playing for the NCAA championship in front of 60,000 people or going to play a pick-up basketball game in rural Beaufort, S.C., you play it the same way every time which is with all the heart and passion you’ve got, with as much intensity as you’ve got.
“That’s the only way to play the game. If you play hard and give every ounce of effort that you’ve got, good things will happen on the court.”
And good things certainly have happened and are happening for BCC. All eight of Shulman’s sophomores from his first recruiting class graduated with degrees and six received NCAA Division I basketball scholarships.
D’Montre Edwards is one of the scholarship recipients, heading to Division I Tennessee.
The captain and leading scorer for the 2011-2012 BCC team, Edwards gives a lot of credit to Shulman.
“It was a good learning experience,” Edwards said. “I learned a lot from him. He was a good guy and a good coach.
“He gave me an opportunity to prove myself on a basketball court and also off the court.”
Cocoa High graduate and 2011-2012 third-leading scorer Ellis Young, who is bound for Division II West Florida, had similar sentiments.
“He basically got me on track with academics and he made me a better person on and off the court,” Ellis said.
“It was basically pretty simple. Do the classwork, stay ahead in class. We’re all grown men and he expected that out of each and every one of us.”
And based on Shulman’s first two seasons he is getting what he is expecting from his players.