Cross finalizes new coaching staff
Published 8:39 pm Monday, April 22, 2019
Troy men’s basketball first-year head coach Scott Cross has finalized his coaching staff with the addition of Kenneth Mangrum and Jermaine Johnson as announced by Troy University Monday morning.
Cross retained assistant coach Mike Worley from the previous staff while adding both Mangrum and Johnson as assistant coaches. Worley has been a part of the Trojans for six years, serving as the director of operations for his first five campaigns.
“I have known Coach Mike Worley for the past six-plus years,” Cross said. “I first got to know him when he was an assistant at Kilgore College, and we signed Lonnie McClanahan, who was a tremendous player at Kilgore that year. Coach Worley knows Troy and has done an outstanding job building relationships within the community and with coaches at all levels of basketball. Coach Worley is a ‘go-getter’ that takes initiative and is always looking for ways to make Troy better.”
Mangrum rejoins Cross after serving one season at Texas Southern as an assistant coach. In his one year at the helm, the Tigers went 24-14 and made it to the semifinals of the CollegeInsider.com Tournament before dropping a heartbreaking 87-86 overtime loss to Green Bay.
The run to the semifinals for Texas Southern marked the longest postseason run since the Tigers took home the 1977 NAIA Tournament championship. Additionally, Mangrum helped coach Jeremy Combs on the Tigers who was tabbed an All-American Honorable Mention.
Prior to arriving at Texas Southern, Mangrum spent four seasons under Cross’ leadership at UT Arlington from 2014-2018.
“Coach Kenneth Mangrum worked at Texas Southern this past season after spending four years with me at my previous institution. Coach Mangrum is extremely well rounded, as he is a great recruiter, great on the floor, and great with player development and mentoring. He already has a #TakeTheStairs mentality and knows exactly how I want to shape the culture of our basketball program here at Troy.”
Johnson comes from UT Martin where he served as an assistant coach for his first three seasons and associate head coach since 2017. Johnson was a key member of the Skyhawks’ recent success, as UT Martin’s run includes the program’s first two Ohio Valley Conference West division championships (2015-16, 2016-17), the school’s first two appearances in the OVC Tournament championship game (2016, 2017) and five victories in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament.
Johnson helped oversee 73 wins over the past four seasons, which are the most victories in any four-year span in the school’s Division-I Era (since 1992). Coinciding with Johnson’s first season with the program, the Skyhawks posted three consecutive 20-win seasons for the first time in school history (2014-17).
Johnson served on the Georgia Southern men’s basketball staff prior to his previous role with UT Martin.
“Coach Jermaine Johnson was a teammate of mine back in college, but he has spent the last few seasons at UT Martin where he has been a part of a championship program. Coach Johnson has won a state championship as the head basketball coach at Melrose High School in Memphis. He is a gym rat that loves the game of basketball and is always looking to grow and get better. He will be a tremendous recruiter because of his connections in the Southeast and his ability to build relationships with student-athletes.”