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Women's Basketball - Thu, Jun. 8, 2017

SHREVEPORT, La. – LSU Shreveport Athletic Director Lucas Morgan announced today that National Championship coach Matt Cross has been named to lead the Pilots' women's basketball program. Cross takes over a program that is coming off its first conference tournament championship in its history.

"Matt is the ultimate competitor. He has won at every school he has coached at and a big strength of his is player development. You don't have the success he has had without an eye for talent and a focus on fundamentals. Probably his most impressive trait however is the ability to prepare student-athletes for life after basketball. He graduates his student-athletes at an extremely high rate. I feel very fortunate that we were able to attract someone with Matt's accomplishments. I'm very excited to welcome Matt to the Pilot Family," said Morgan.

"First of all I want to thank Chancellor Clark and Athletics Director Lucas Morgan for giving me this tremendous opportunity to come back home," said Coach Cross who grew up in Shreveport. "LSUS treated me with a great deal of class throughout this process. I was impressed with Chancellor Clark's vision and strategic plans he has for LSUS and I am excited to become part of the mission.

"Lucas Morgan just gets it! He is a rising star as a leader in intercollegiate athletics and a very effective communicator, he understands how to balance athletics and academics across the higher education landscape," continued Cross.  "I look forward to working for him. This program is ready to take off and I want to give kudos to my predecessors Coach Ronnie Howell, Coach Val, and Coach Loyd for all their efforts since the program's reinstatement under former Athletics Director Doug Robinson 14 years ago.  The Lion's Share of the credit goes to Coach Howell for the 11 years he dedicated to building the LSUS women's basketball program from the ground floor up and making it a winning program."

"The future is bright for the Lady Pilots and I'm ready to use my experiences in knowing how to win championships to elevate this program to an even higher level as we work hard to make the Shreveport-Bossier community proud," added Cross.

In 2002, Cross got his start in coaching as the Head Junior High Boys' Basketball and Assistant Varsity Boys' Basketball Coach at Christian Life Academy in Baton Rouge, LA under former Shreveport's Evangel Christian Academy hoops coach Todd Foster, now the Pastor of The Well Church in McComb, MS.  Current NBA Player for the Sacramento Kings and Baton Rouge Native, Langston Galloway was a 6th grader on Cross's Middle School squad.  After one year at CLA, Cross moved to the college ranks as an assistant to Mike Newell at the University of Arkansas Monticello, the former Head Coach of Shreveport's Professional Basketball Franchise, and the Shreveport Crawdads of the CBA (Continental Basketball Association).  Ironically, Cross has coached against both his coaching mentors on the college level.  Coach Cross's Lamar State College Seahawks swept Coach Todd Foster's Baton Rouge Community College Bears during the 2009-2010 NJCAA Division I men's basketball season.  Six years later in 2016, Matt Cross's Talladega College Tornadoes defeated Mike Newell's Dillard University Bleu Devils to clinch the 2016 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference Regular Season Championship for Talladega's third consecutive GCAC regular season title. 

The Pilots are getting a coach that has quite an impressive resume after his first 15 years in the coaching profession. In Coach Cross' first nine seasons as a head coach he has won a total of nine championships, claiming a title in each season. In addition, he became the youngest head coach to win a National Championship at the age of 25 by leading the Talladega Tornadoes to prominence in 2009 in his first season as their men's coach. He has been a head coach for 10 seasons and has won 9 championships!

Coach Cross has been winning since the beginning and has made quite an impact on the programs he has taken over. In four consecutive seasons he led Texas College (21 wins in 2008), Talladega College (25 wins in 2009) and Lamar State (20 wins in 2010 and 26 wins in 2011) to record setting seasons in wins. He has a remarkable record against NCAA Division I opponents compiling seven wins over a span of two seasons and is the only small college coach to defeat five DI programs in a single season.

TEXAS COLLEGE (2007-2008)
*Became the youngest head coach at 23 years old

*Went 21-12 and led the Steers to their first and only NAIA Conference Championship (RRAC)

*Record at TC: 25-7

*Defeated U. S. Small College and Michigan Hall of Fame Coach Garth Pleasant's Rochester College in the 2009 U. S. Small   College National Championship Game at 25 years old

*Led the Tornadoes to the No. 1 ranking in the final USCAA Coaches' Poll

*Record at LSC-PA: 70-30

*Led the Seahawks to their first winning season in school history in 2010

*Led the Seahawks to the school's only trip to the NJCAA National Tournament in Hutchinson, Kansas

*Guided the Seahawks to the school's only Texas Eastern Conference Regular Season Championship and Region 14 Tournament Championship

*Became the first coach in the East Texas College ranks to win the Region 14 Tournament Championship and the Region 14 Regular Season Title the following season in over a decade

*Defeated NJCAA Hall of Fame Coach Scott Gernader's San Jacinto College in the finals of the 2011 Region XIV Conference Tournament Championship Game at the age of 27

*Defeated 12 nationally ranked teams in three seasons with the Seahawks

*Graduated 10 of 12 sophomores while at Lamar State-Port Arthur, seven of those 10 signed NCAA DI scholarships, all 12 went on to play at a four-year institution

*Overall Record at TC: 152-49

*2014: finished the regular season ranked No. 6 in the NAIA Men's Basketball Coaches' Poll, won the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference East regular season title, won the Tornadoes its first ever GCAC Tournament Championship, took the Tornadoes to their first ever trip to the NAIA National Tournament in Kansas City and reached the "Sweet 16"

*2015: guided the Tornadoes to a school record 32-wins, finished the regular season ranked No. 1 in the NAIA Men's Basketball Coaches' Poll, won the GCAC regular season title and the GCAC Tournament Championship reached the "Fab Four" in the National Tournament in K. C.

*2016: won the GCAC Regular Season Crown, finished the regular season ranked No. 4 in the NAIA Men's Basketball Coaches' Poll, reached the "Sweet 16" in the National Tournament in Kansas City

* Since returning to Dega in 2012 for his second stint, Cross has turned Talladega into a NAIA juggernaut as they have been ranked in the Top 25 of the NAIA Division I Men's Basketball Poll for 47 consecutive polls, the third longest active streak in the nation trailing only behind NAIA traditional powerhouses Georgetown (54-straight) and Pikeville (59-straight)

*Five Coach of the Year Awards as head coach

*Lamar State-Port Athur's all-time winningest basketball coach in winning percentage

*Talladega's all-time winningest basketball coach in wins

*Averages 25 wins per season

*Career Record: 243-91 (73%)

*Career Post Season Record: 22-9 (72%)

*Record in Championship Games: 9-1 (90%)

*Record vs NCAA DI's: 7-4 (64%)

Has Coached….

*Six All-Americans

*One National Player of the Year

*Three Conference Player of the Year Recipients

*Three Conference Tournament MVP Recipients

*24 All-Conference Players

*Has graduated 85% of Players that Complete Eligibility

* One of Only two coaches to have one both a GCAC Championship and a RRAC Championship, the other is former LSUS men's basketball coach-Chad McDowell


Years                   School                                  W-L                      
2007-08              Texas College                           21-12
2008-09              Talladega College                      25-7
2009-10              Lamar State-Port Arthur             20-11
2010-11              Lamar State-Port Arthur             26-11
2011-12              Lamar State-Port Arthur             24-8
2012-13              Talladega College                      19-14
2013-14              Talladega College                      29-6
2014-15              Talladega College                      32-5
2015-16              Talladega College                      25-6
2016-17              Talladega College                      22-11                   
TOTAL                                                              243-91 (73%)

W - Basketball
Overall RRAC Streak
0-0 (.000) 0-0 (.000)
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