Gene Cross

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Gene Cross
Sport(s) Basketball
Biographical details
Born (1971-12-20) December 20, 1971 (age 43)
Chicago, Illinois
Playing career
1990–1994 Illinois
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
UIC (asst.)
DePaul (asst.)
Virginia (asst.)
Notre Dame (asst.)
Utah Flash (asst.)
Iowa Energy (asst.)
Erie BayHawks
Los Angeles D-Fenders (asst)
Head coaching record
Overall 53–111

Gene Cross (born December 20, 1971) is an American professional basketball coach, having most recently held the position as assistant coach of the Los Angeles D-Fenders of the NBA Development League, affiliate of the Los Angeles Lakers [1]


Cross was born in Chicago, Illinois. Cross played prep basketball at Rich Central High School in Olympia Fields, Illinois. As a senior, he was named the team's MVP and also earned all-conference honors.

From 1990 to 1994, Cross played college basketball at the University of Illinois under head coach Lou Henson. Cross was a letterman during his junior and senior seasons and helped lead the Illini to the NCAA Tournament in both seasons. He graduated from Illinois with a Bachelor's Degree in History. Cross would then go on to earn his Master's Degree in Sport Management at The Ohio State University.

While working on his master's degree, Cross also spent that year coaching basketball at Marion-Franklin High School in Columbus, Ohio.

Cross is also a member of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity.

Coaching career[edit]

In 1996, Gene Cross returned to his hometown when he was hired on to the coaching staff at the University of Illinois-Chicago. In his first season at UIC, the Flames finished with a 15–14 overall record and reached the MCC Tournament Championship, where they lost to Butler, 69–68. The 1997–98 season was more successful, as UIC would tie a school record with 22 victories and win a share of the MCC regular-season title. During that season, the Flames had wins against conference champions Michigan State (Big Ten), Illinois State (Missouri Valley), and Valparaiso (Horizon League). In Cross's final season at UIC, the Flames finished 20–14 and won the Horizon League title outright. That win propelled UIC into the NCAA Tournament via an automatic bid. However, they would be knocked out of the first round by eventual Final Four participant Oklahoma.

Following his success at UIC, Cross spent 3 seasons from 2002 to 2005 as the assistant coach for the DePaul Blue Demons. DePaul finished the 2002–03 season with a 16–13 record losing to North Carolina in the first round of the NIT. The 2003–04 season was much more successful. The Blue Demons finished the regular season 22–10 and made it to the NCAA Tourney. The Demons beat Dayton in the first round, losing in the second round to eventual national champion UConn. DePaul finished 20–11 in 2004–05 and lost in the second round of the NIT to Texas A&M.

Following the 2004–05 season, DePaul head coach Dave Leitao left to become the head coach at Virginia. Cross followed Leitao to Virginia and became Leitao's top assistant. Cross only spent the 2005–06 season at Virginia and helped guide the Cavaliers to a 15–15 record and a berth in the NIT, where they would lose in the first round to Stanford.

After one season with Virginia, Cross left to become the assistant coach at Notre Dame under head coach Mike Brey. Notre Dame finished the 2006–07 season with a 24–8 record and an appearance in the NCAA Tournament. They would be upset in the first round by Winthrop.

In 2007–08, The Irish finished 25-8 and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tourney, only to lose to Washington State.

On April 11, 2008, Gene Cross was selected to be the new head coach of the Toledo Rockets.[2] Cross took the reins from Stan Joplin, who coached the Rockets for 12 seasons.

Cross went 11–53 in 2 years as head coach of the Rockets, leading to his resignation on March 11, 2010.

On September 21, 2010, Cross was hired as assistant coach for the Utah Flash[3] of the NBA Development League, affiliates of the Atlanta Hawks and the Utah Jazz, under new head coach Kevin Young. The Flash recorded an impressive 28-22 record, qualifying for the playoffs for the third consecutive season. The Flash lost in the final game of a three-game series to eventual D-League champion Iowa Energy. Upon completion of the 2010-11 season the Utah Flash[4] announced its hiatus for the 2011-2012 season.

On August 18, 2011, Cross began a brief stint with the Maine Red Claws,[5] the NBA D-League affiliate of the Boston Celtics, Charlotte Bobcats, and Philadelphia 76ers reuniting with newly appointed head coach and former boss Dave Leitao. Cross was lured away from the Red Claws to become the lead assistant coach by the defending NBA Development League champion Iowa Energy and its new head coach Kevin Young with whom Cross worked for the previous season with the Utah Flash. The Energy were affiliated with the Chicago Bulls, New Orleans Hornets, and Washington Wizards

Gene Cross was named head coach of the Erie BayHawks, the NBA D-League affiliate of the New York Knicks in September 2012. Cross became the third head coach in BayHawks history taking over for Jay Larranaga who left to become an assistant coach for the Boston Celtics. Cross led the BayHawks to a 26-24 record in his first season, the fourth winning season in the franchise's five seasons in existence while having two players called up to the NBA, Henry Sims and Terell Harris both to the New Orleans Pelicans. Cross finished his second season with a record of 16-34 and one NBA call-up, Jeremy Tyler to the New York Knicks. After two seasons at the helm in Erie, Cross was hired as an assistant coach for the Los Angeles D-Fenders, the NBA affiliate of the Los Angeles Lakers.

In February 2012 was named assistant coach of the 2012 NBA Development League East All Star team.[6] The coaching staffs were selected based on their teams having the highest winning percentages in their respective conferences.

In 2005, Cross was named one of the top 25 recruiters in college basketball by named Cross to the list of "Ten Assistants Ready For the Next Step" in 2007.