On Tuesday, the men’s basketball team took a step forward in hiring a new head coach, Scott Cross.
Cross’ hiring was announced by Senior Vice Chancellor for Athletics Jeremy McClain.
Cross comes from Texas Christian University (TCU), where he was an assistant coach.
After a year in the Big 12, he’s ready to get back in the Sun Belt Conference.
“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.”
Prior to his TCU tenure, he was head coach at fellow Sun Belt Conference school University of Texas Arlington (UTA).
At UTA, Cross was the all-time winning coach in program history, going 225-161 in his 12 seasons there.
In 2008, he coached the Mavericks to their first NCAA Tournament bid.
While former Head Coach Phil Cunningham found some success at Troy, including a tournament championship and NCAA Tournament bid in 2017, it is time for the Trojans to go in a new direction.
In his six seasons at Troy, Cunningham managed just one winning season.
In 12 seasons at UTA, Cross saw nine winning seasons in the program’s transition to the Sun Belt.
In fact, Cross won more than 20 games in each of his final three seasons at UTA.
In 2018, he was fired, puzzling many in the basketball community, including himself.
A winning record at an alma mater usually does not warrant a firing, but Troy fans should be grateful they were able to get Cross on board.
In the past three months or so, Troy’s athletic department has made two home-run hires in head football coach Chip Lindsey and now Cross.
Let’s wait and see if both Lindsey and Cross pan out, but for the time being, it seems our men’s basketball program is back on track to its return to a Sun Belt Conference championship.