The Port Arthur News
PORT ARTHUR —
Lamar State College-Port Arthur on Thursday announced a field of six finalists from whom the successor to replace Matt Cross as head basketball coach will be chosen.
Among the finalists are former Southeast Texas Mavericks head coach Steve Tucker and former Texas Tech assistant coach Chris Beard, who is being supported for the job by Lamar University coach Pat Knight.
Other finalists include Kris Baumann, the head coach at Garden City Community College since 2006, John Meeks Jr., the head coach at Wallace State Community College the past two seasons, Lance Madison, an assistant at Oklahoma City University, and Carl Nash, who was most recently the head coach of the Xinjiang Flying Tigers in Urumqi, China.
Interviews are scheduled to begin today, with Tucker scheduled first. Tucker was out of coaching last year, after leading the Mavericks to back-to-back championships in the loosely organized ABA professional league. He is being pushed for the job by Mavericks owner Jerry Nelson.
Beard spent from 2001 to 2011 on the coaching staff at Texas Tech, first as an assistant to Bobby Knight, then later as associate head coach to Pat Knight. His list of references includes both Knights, Kansas’ Bill Self, UH head coach James Dickey, UTEP head coach Tim Floyd, South Carolina head coach Frank Martin, SFA head coach Danny Kaspar and Big 12 associate commissioner John Underwood.
After Tucker, the order of interviews has Baumann on Monday, Meeks on Tuesday, Beard on Wednesday, Nash on Thursday and Madison next Friday.
Whoever gets the job has big shoes to fill. Cross was 70-30 in three seasons, highlighted by winning the Region XIV conference tournament title in the 2010-11 season, and going three games deep into the NJCAA national tourney. This past season, the Seahawks set a school record with 26 wins and tied for the Region XIV south zone regular-season title.
Cross reluctantly resigned on March 29, citing health reasons. He has since told The News it wasn’t his choice to leave. Last Friday, three weeks after the resignation, he was healthy enough to be rehired as head coach at Talladega College.