Friday, March 28, 2008
The question a lot of Murray State women’s basketball fans are asking this weekend is “What about Rob Cross?”
Cross is the assistant coach for the Racers and has been for 13 years, joining the program with Eddie Fields, then Joi Felton, and finally spending a year at Jody Adams side before she left for Wichita State on Wednesday.
Should he be considered for the coaching position?
Since I’ve only covered Racer basketball for a year, I’m not going to pretend I have all the answers. I really haven’t spent enough time with Cross to judge his ability to be the head coach for the Racers.
He’s got a great knowledge of the area for recruiting. His familiarity to the program and the players is incredible. He is articulate in his speech and thought, which is a plus for the media.
Adams also credited Cross with the development of post players Angela Brown and Pam Bell. Brown, who came in for her last year of eligibility after sitting out a year, was a force by the end of the season.
I think Cross is more than ready and able to be a successful head coach, I just am not sure if he’s ready to lead the Racers. While he’s a stable force in the community, he’s had the fortune of studying under three Ohio Valley Conference coaches. To win conference championships and be more than a one-and-done program in the NCAA Tournament, I think you need a little more experience than what those three head coaches can give in 13 years.
Racer women’s basketball isn’t just an afterthought to MSU’s athletic department anymore. The program is capable now of competing for and winning championships in the future. The program is very capable of attracting well-groomed applicants for the head coaching position, i.e. Jody Adams.
Whomever the MSU athletic department brings in for a head coach, Cross will be a key asset, just like he was in Adams’ transition, and needs to be rewarded in some way for his loyalty to the program if he chooses to stay on and not as the head coach.