Jerome Tang is in his 12th year as an assistant at Baylor, following 10 seasons as head coach at nationally recognized Heritage Christian Academy in Cleveland, Texas.
As an original member of Scott Drew's staff, Tang has helped put together seven consensus top-25 recruiting classes, including 2010 (Perry Jones III), 2011 (Quincy Miller and Deuce Bello), 2012 (Isaiah Austin and Rico Gathers) and 2013 (Ishmail Wainright, Al Freeman and Johnathan Motley).
Tang has been integral in the Bears' rise to national prominence. He helped guide Baylor to a late-season surge that led to 26 wins, including three victories in three days to reach the 2014 Big 12 Championship title game. BU then won a pair of NCAA Tournament games to advance to the Sweet 16 for the third time in the last five seasons, becoming one of only 12 programs nationally to accomplish the feat.
Following the Bears' seventh 20-win season in the last eight years, Cory Jefferson was selected by the San Antonio Spurs in the 2014 NBA Draft, giving Baylor five players drafted in the last three seasons. Fellow Bear Isaiah Austin was also honored at the draft, after the projected first-round pick had his career cut short by a Marfan's Syndrome Diagnosis.
Tang played a major role in leading Baylor to 23 wins and the program's first national tournament championship in 2012-13, when the Bears went on a five-game run to the NIT title. For the first time in school history, every game during the 2012-13 season was televised, including a nation-leading 28 games on ESPN networks.
In addition to his assistant coaching duties, he served as interim head coach in Baylor's first two Big 12 games of the 2012-13 season, leading BU to an overtime win against Texas and a 34-point win at Texas Tech -- the Bears' largest-ever margin of victory in Lubbock. After the season, Pierre Jackson was selected in the 2013 NBA Draft, giving BU four draft picks in 2012-13, which ranked third nationally.
Baylor made history once again during the 2011-12 season, winning a school-record 30 games and advancing to the NCAA Tournament South Region Final for the second time in three seasons. The Bears were ranked throughout the season for the first time in program history, reaching as high as No. 3 in the polls and never dropping lower than 14th. Following the record-breaking season, the Bears had a program-record three players selected in the 2012 NBA Draft (Jones III, Quincy Acy, Miller).
During the 2009-10 season, the Bears won a then-school-record 28 games and tied for second in the Big 12 Conference standings with an 11-5 record. The Bears, who earned a No. 3 seed in the NCAA South Region, won their first NCAA Tournament game in 60 years, advancing to the Elite Eight for the first time in the modern tournament era. Baylor finished the 2009-10 season ranked No. 10 in the final ESPN/USA TODAY Coaches Top 25 poll and No. 19 in the final AP Top 25 poll.
The Bears became a national media staple during the 2008-09 season as the program set several new school records. Baylor posted back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time in school history, while advancing to its first Big 12 Championship title game, only to fall to Missouri. During its improbable postseason run, Baylor became the first No. 9 seed to advance to the Big 12 Championship title game.
Baylor's 2008-09 squad did something the 2007-08 Bears were unable to accomplish -- win a postseason game. The Bears advanced to the NIT championship game with a semifinal win over San Diego State at Madison Square Garden before falling to Penn State in the title game.
Baylor played a school-record 39 games, including a then-school-record 34 on television. Nineteen of those 34 games were televised nationally -- 18 on the ESPN family of networks. Prior to the 2008-09 season, Baylor had played just 14 games on the ESPN family of networks in the previous 11 seasons.
THE TANG FILE
Oct. 7, 1966
Charter Oak State, 2007
wife: Careylynn; son Seven, daughter Aylyn
Heritage Christian Academy, head coach
Baylor, assistant coach
NCAA, first round (Baylor)
NIT, finals (Baylor)
NCAA, Elite Eight (Baylor)
NCAA, Elite Eight (Baylor)
NIT Champions (Baylor)
NCAA, Sweet 16 (Baylor)
PRIOR TO BAYLOR In his decade of service at Heritage Christian, Tang led the program to four state championships and built the Eagles into one of the state's TAPPS powerhouses. His squad gained national attention in 2001, when one of Tang's Eagles, junior Cedrick Hensley, scored 101 points in a game.
Feeding off that success, Tang and Heritage Christian became known for producing Division I athletes. Heritage Christian's most-publicized recruit during Tang's tenure was Vakeaton "Von" Wafer, a 2003 McDonald's All-American who played at Florida State and was drafted with the 39th pick by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2005 NBA draft.
Tang's last two squads at HCA featured other Division I signees in Cedrick Hensley (Houston), Elijah Miller (Houston), Marlon Pompey (Texas A&M), Lamar Hurd (Oregon State), Tim Mayes (Richmond) and Tyler Jones (St. John's).
Tang was also the athletic director at Heritage Christian, a birth-through-high school private school that boasted 145 students and just 30 high school students (10th-12th grades). Away from the gym, Tang served as youth pastor at First Assembly of God.
PERSONAL Tang earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Charter Oak State College in September 2007. Tang and his wife Careylyen are the parents of two, son Seven and daughter Aylyn.