Sunday, March 22, 2015

Pat Skerry

Autism Light #380 is Pat Skerry.

Pat Skerry is the head coach of the men's basketball team at Towson University in Maryland. He was born on January 21, 1970. Pat Skerry is also an Autism Father. His 5 year old son Owen has autism. Pat Skerry is an Autism Light for his willingness to use his role as an autism father and coach of a Division I NCAA basketball program to spread autism awareness.

Basketball Career: Pat Skerry played college basketball at Tufts University from 1988-1992 and set the career record for assists (634) and the season record (198) at Tufts. Pat Skerry has served as the coach of Towson University Tigers' men's basketball team since the 2011-2012 season. He has 80 career wins as a head coach, including two years coaching at Curry College. Follow the future success of his team at the Towson Athletic Website.

Coaches Powering Forward for Autism: Pat Skerry and Tom Herrion started the Coaches Powering Forward for Autism campaign in 2014. Both coach Skerry and Herrion have sons with autism. In 2014 they presented their fellow coaches across the NCAA with the request to wear the Autism Speaks blue puzzle piece during televised games the first weekend of February. In its first year (2014), "More than 82 NCAA coaches and broadcasters took to the sidelines and airwaves throughout the weekend wearing the pin (Autism Speaks Press Release, January 15, 2015)."

Coaches Powering Forward for Autism partners with Autism Speaks and funds raised benefit the work of Autism Speaks. The campaign was in place in 2015 for the televised games on the weekend of February 6-8, 2015. The Coaches Powering Forward for Autism fundraising page lists the coaching leaders in this autism awareness campaign in 2015. The top 3 coaches in 2015 in fundraising for autism as of March 22, 2015 are:
  1. Coach Jim Fox, Appalachian State University
  2. Coach Mike Krzyzewski, Duke University
  3. Coach Mike Brey, Notre Dame University
Both Duke and Notre Dame have teams that are experiencing success on the court in the 2015 NCAA Final Four Tournament as well.

Liz Feld, president of Autism Speaks said, "Pat (Skerry) and Tom (Herrion) are advocates in every sense of the word. Last year's campaign was a true grassroots effort, and it continues to grow under the Coaches Powering Forward for Autism banner with far more coaches and broadcasters engaged. In addition, Pat and Tom have become great ambassadors for Autism Speaks attending events across the country that demonstrate the importance of participation and volunteerism (Autism Speaks Press Release, January 15, 2015)."

The following is a news story on Pat Skerry's work with autism awareness at Towson University.

Other Information: You can read more about Pat Skerry and his work with autism in these online news stories:

Wikipedia: The Wikipedia Page for Pat Skerry has more information on his life and coaching career statistics.

Social Media: You can follow Pat Skerry on Twitter at @CoachPatSkerry.

Special thanks to Pat Skerry for spreading autism awareness. His leadership in Coaches Powering Forward for Autism has indeed had an impact around the United States. We wish Pat Skerry all the best in the future as an autism father, coach, and autism advocate.

Autism Light honors diverse heroes to the world of autism.

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