Troy names Scott Cross head men’s basketball coach

Published 8:21 pm Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Troy Athletics

Scott Cross has been named Troy’s men’s basketball head coach, Senior Vice Chancellor for Athletics Jeremy McClain announced Tuesday. Cross averaged 19 wins in his 12 seasons as the head coach at UT Arlington and led the Mavericks to five postseason appearances.

 A fan reception will take place at 10 a.m. on Thursday in the Stadium Club of Veterans Memorial Stadium with a press conference to follow at 11 a.m.

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“This is a great day for Troy Athletics and Trojan Basketball,” McClain said. “We are beyond excited to welcome Scott and his family to Troy. He has proven throughout his career that he is not only a winner on the court but also a coach that values the importance of developing his players in the classroom and in life. Scott is held in the highest regard among his peers and will be an outstanding addition to our department and our community.”

Cross, who becomes Troy’s seventh head coach in program history, guided UT Arlington to 225 wins including 72 wins his final three seasons with the Mavericks. The 21-year coaching veteran spent this past season as an assistant coach at TCU where the Horned Frogs advanced to the quarterfinals of the Big 12 Championship and earned a No. 1 seed in the National Invitation Tournament.

“I am absolutely thrilled to be the next head men’s basketball coach at Troy University,” Cross said. “I have always felt like Troy was a sleeping giant in the Sun Belt Conference with its state-of-the-art Trojan Arena, beautiful campus and wonderful community. My family and I cannot wait to get to Troy and become part of the Trojan community. My sincere thanks to Chancellor Hawkins and Jeremy McClain for believing in me and allowing me to serve at such a great university. We will take great pride in everything we do and will build a championship program, both on and off the court, that will make our student body, faculty, alumni and all Trojan fans proud. I cannot wait to meet each and every person involved with the Troy community.”

Cross presided over the most successful era of men’s basketball in UTA history with five postseason appearances and five 20-win seasons. He inherited a program that had averaged 10 wins per season and made just one postseason appearance in its 47-year history and transformed the Mavericks into a premier program at the mid-major level. In addition to leading UTA to an average of 19 wins per season, he also chaired the top four seasons in program history.

Among UTA’s postseason appearances under Cross, was a quarterfinal appearance in the 2017 NIT. The historic 2017 season produced the program’s first-ever Sun Belt Conference regular season title.

Throughout the course of just more than a decade, Cross guided the Mavericks to postseason tournament appearances with trips to the NCAA Tournament (2008), NIT (2012 & 2017) and CIT (2013, 2016). UT Arlington won the Southland Tournament Championship in 2008 and the 2012 regular season Southland Conference Championship.

Cross was named 2012 Southland Conference Coach of the Year, 2012 NABC District 23 Coach of the Year and was a 2012 finalist for the Hugh Durham National Coach of the Year. Cross’ efforts on and off the court were recognized once again in 2016, when he was announced a finalist for the 2016 Skip Prosser Man of the Year Award.

In 2017, he earned Sun Belt and NABC District Coach of the Year honors after leading the Mavericks to a program record 27 wins. Cross, who has coached 19 players to professional contracts, was named a Prosser Award finalist for the second time and earned finalist honors from the Hugh Durham Award. The Mavs defeated Texas for the first time in school history, which also marked UTA’s first win over an AP top-25 team in program history. UTA went on to win NIT games at BYU and against Akron and posted two of the largest UTA basketball crowds in College Park Center history.

The 2016 squad helped put UTA basketball on the Division I men’s basketball map. Crowned the best rebounding team in the nation and ranked in the top 10 in four team categories, UTA knocked off national powers Ohio State and Memphis on the road en route to its best start in school history (14-3).

Cross was named the head coach of his alma mater in 2006 after serving as an assistant for the previous eight seasons. In his second season, he led the Mavericks to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history.

From the end of the 2007 season throughout the 2008 season, Cross led the Mavericks to a school-record 17 consecutive home wins. In UTA’s final season in the Southland (2011-12), the Mavs set a school record with 16 straight victories which included their first 15 league games. UTA went on to finish the season 24-9 and advance to the NIT.

A three-year letter winner at UT Arlington from 1995-98, Cross gained the reputation as both a fierce competitor on the court and a scholar-athlete off the floor. As a player, Cross appeared in 82 games for UTA, including 58 in the starting lineup. As a senior, Cross averaged 11.9 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game, while converting a team-high 41.5 percent of his 3-point shots, second best in the Southland Conference.

In the classroom, Cross set the standard for UT Arlington basketball. He was a two-time GTE/College Sports Information Directors of America Basketball Academic All-American, earning third team as a junior and second team honors as a senior. Cross graduated with a perfect 4.0 grade point average in marketing.