Director of Basketball Operations
Southern Miss, 1995
A constant on Doc Sadler's staff's at Nebraska and UTEP, Chris Croft returns to Southern Miss as the Director of Basketball Operations.
Croft has a wealth of coaching and administative experience, serving as a head coach at the NAIA level while also serving as an assistant coach at the Division I level for nine seasons, including with schools in the Big 12 and Pacific-12 Conferences.
As director of basketball operations at Nebraska, Croft served as the primary day-to-day administrator within the basketball office, where he handled the budget, clinics, camps and daily office operations. He was heavily involved with team scheduling and the Huskers' community involvement and Life Skills programs. Croft coordinated the Huskers' public speaking efforts, both for players and the coaching staff. Another integral part of Croft's position was handling team travel, including all postseason trips. Croft helped Sadler reach postseason play in four of the six seasons he has worked with him.
Croft followed Sadler to Nebraska from UTEP, where he served as a program specialist for one season with Sadler's staff. He oversaw several administrative areas for the Miners, as the squad reached the National Invitation Tournament in 2006.
Following eight years as a Division I assistant coach, Croft was named head coach at Martin Methodist (Tenn.) College at the age of 30. Croft's first squad in 2003-04 won 22 games and grabbed the TranSouth Conference title - the first in school history - while also advancing to the NAIA Tournament. He was the first coach in league history to win a championship in his initial season as a head coach, and also was the youngest coach in league history to win the championship. He led his team to 13 road wins to rank second nationally across all divisions of four-year colleges. Croft's team led the conference in scoring defense, as he coached four all-conference players and seven academic all-conference student-athletes.
Croft broke into the coaching profession as an undergraduate student assistant at East Central (Miss.) CC in 1991-93. While at ECCC, he was part of a state championship team and the squad made two regional tournament appearances. Croft then assisted M.K. Turk at Southern Miss as an undergraduate before being named a graduate assistant at the age 22 in 1995.
Croft helped USM to two NIT appearances before moving to the Big 12 under Coach Eddie Sutton in an administrative position at Oklahoma State before the 1996-97 season. In two seasons with the Cowboys, Croft helped OSU to a pair of postseason appearances, including the second round of the 1998 NCAA Tournament. He moved on to Maryland Eastern Shore for one year in a recruiting capacity before spending four seasons (1999-2000 to 2002-2003) at Washington State. Croft also was the head coach for the Planet Basketball All-Star team that toured New Zealand in the summer of 2001.
Croft earned his bachelor's degree in coaching and sports administration from Southern Miss in 1995 and received a master's degree in human performance in 1996. Croft completed his doctoral degree in educational leadership and administration through UTEP in 2008.