Chris Croft
Chris  Croft

Director of Basketball Operations

Alma Mater:
Southern Miss, 1995


Basketball Hosts Free Kids' Clinic

On Thursday, Sept. 23, men's basketball held successful kids' clinic and autograph session.

Chris Croft, a native from Louisville, Mississippi, is in his second year at Southern Miss, his alma mater, as the Director of Basketball Operations. Croft is reunited with Doc Sadler after serving on his staff at both UTEP and Nebraska. Croft has assisted Sadler in reaching postseason play in four of the years he has worked with him.

Croft has a wealth of both coaching and administrative experience with over eighteen years in college basketball. He has been a member of teams in the Big 12, PAC 10, Big Ten, and CUSA on three occasions. Additionally, he was a head coach at the NAIA level.

Croft broke into the coaching profession as an undergraduate student assistant at East Central Community College 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 Coach M.K. Turk at Southern Miss as an undergraduate student manager with both teams advancing to the Metro Conference Championship game and to the NIT. He was then named a graduate assistant coach at the age 22 in 1995 which was the inaugural year of CUSA.

Croft then moved to the Big 12 Conference under Coach Eddie Sutton as an administrative assistant 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 at Washington State including the last year in a recruiting role. Croft gained international coaching experience as he was the head coach for the Planet Basketball All-Star team that toured New Zealand in the summer of 2001.

In 2003, Croft was named head coach at Martin Methodist College at the age of 30. Croft’s first squad 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 head 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 began his association with Sadler in 2005 at UTEP as a program specialist. He oversaw several administrative areas for the Miners, as the squad reached the NIT in 2006 after being one of the top teams in CUSA.

He then followed Sadler to Nebraska as director of basketball operations in 2006. He also served as a full-time recruiting and coaching spot during his tenure. Croft helped lead Nebraska to three NIT postseason appearances.

After that, he spent time as an Assistant Professor of Sport Management at the University of Southern Indiana. This opportunity was afforded due to his ability to receive his doctorate degree on the side and combined with his hands-on coaching and administrative experience.

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. Croft is married to Terri Batterman from Delmont, S.D.

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