Jae Cross enters the 2017-18 season for her third year as the Celts Women's Head basketball coach.
During the 2016-17 season the team posted an overall record of 14-14 and went 9-9 in the Red River Conference. On senior night in the very last weekend of the Red River Conference the Celts beat Wiley College for the very first time. Not only did this secure their trip to the Red River Conference tournament for the third year in a row but also enabled them to finish the highest ever in the history of the program.
This past season, Cross coached an All American Honorable Mention student athlete along with the Red River Freshmen of the Year, a Red River Conference All First Team member, a Red River All Second Team member and two Honorable Mentioned Conference members.
Over the past two seasons Cross has also mentored a strong academic program having 13 UST Dean's List members and 8 NAIA Dakstats Scholar Athletes.
Cross joined the Celt's after spending seven seasons at Rice University, where she served the last two of those years as the Associate Head Coach. While at Rice, Cross helped the Owls to two postseason appearances, advancing to the WNIT in 2011 and the Women's Basketball Invitational in 2012. Six Rice players have earned All-C-USA honors, and three players were tabbed Freshman All-C-USA since her arrival on campus in 2008.
Cross has had an impressive basketball career not only as a coach but as a player herself. Cross played professionally for the WNBA's Detroit Shock, Phoenix Mercury and San Antonio Silver Stars. She also was a member of the Australian national team for 12 years where she was apart of the Gold medal team at the Commonwealth Games in 2006 and won a bronze medal at the 2002 FIBA World Championship. The Australians claimed a pair of Oceania Gold Medals in 2003 and 2005 en route to qualifying for the Olympics. Inducted into her home town of Sunshine Coast Sports Hall of Fame, Cross began her playing career at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) in 1993. She received the R.E. Stauton Award in 1994, which is given to the women's basketball most outstanding player. She then played for the Adelaide Lightning of the Women's National Basketball League (WNBL). The Lightning won a trio of national championships in 1995, 1996 and 1998.
Jae and her husband, Tom Cross, live in Houston with their four daughters, Jenisha, Taylor, Cale, and Haylee.
In his second season as a volunteer assistant coach, Charles, whose nickname is Chuck, works in undergraduate admissions at UST. He played high school ball in Katy before signing with Tarleton State University. He was a college slam dunk champion and auditioned for a NIKE Basketball commercial. During his tenure with NIKE Basketball, he worked in WNBA sports marketing and footwear research and development. He has coached at camps for Portland State University, UCONN, Rice University, and Houston Baptist University. He recently coached middle school girls at St. John’s School and Presbyterian School of Houston. He earned a bachelor’s in business communication from UHD and plans on pursuing a master’s in political science.
A Houston native, Joshua is a basketball skills trainer, certified personal trainer, and corrective exercise specialist. He currently coaches middle school boys at The John Cooper School in the Woodlands and was head coach for the AAU Crossover Elite/Houston Nets for the past two seasons. For the last three years, he been a skills trainer from players ranging from middle school to professional. Joshua played at Cleveland State (a Tennessee JUCO) during the 2012 – 2013 season. He was a four-year letterman and earned All-State honorable mention at Dekaney High School. Joshua received his A.A.S. in visual communication from Lone Star College, and his certification for personal training in 2016, and corrective exercise specialization in 2017 from the National Academy of Sports Medicine.
Eric Belt II
Originally from Kansas City, Missouri, Eric graduated from Dekaney High School before walking on the Men’s Basketball team at Houston Baptist University. He is certified through the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a personal trainer and started his own personal training company, Team Crossover. He serves as vice president of the AAU Houston Nets basketball program, which he also developed. He is currently the Community Center Director at Harvest Time Church, as well as the head middle school basketball coach at Legacy Preparatory Christian Academy. He is excited to be a part of the UST Women’s Basketball team and looks forward to a great season.