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Coach Jae Cross enters her second year as the Women's Head basketball coach.
Last year 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 have been 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 and San Antonio Silver Stars. She also was a member of the Australian national team for 12 years 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 Canberra's 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.
"She had a terrific career as a player and after spending the last seven years at Rice as an assistant coach she is ready to run her own program. It is a blessing that Coach Cross will be the leader of our program and I believe great things are in store for the Celts," said Smith
After her first year at the helm of the UST Women's Basketball program, Cross took the team to Barcelona Spain in June where the team building started and expectations were set.
During the 2015-16 season the team posted an overall record of 12-16 and went 8-10 in the Red River Conference. On the very last road trip the team was able to secure a spot in the the top 6 of conference therefoer making it the first time for the new head coach to make it to a post season tournament and the 3rd in 5 years for the Celt's.
Cross coached two Red River Conference All First Team members and an Honorable Mentioned Conference player this past season. The Celt's were the leading rebounding team in the NAIA and had the 2nd ranked rebounder in the nation.
Along with on court recognition it was the off court awards that made the Celt's the ultimate all round team. The Celt's had 7 student-athletes receiving UST Dean's List Honors and 5 NAIA Scholar Athletes, the most in the Red River Conference.
Jae and her husband, Tom Cross, live in Houston with their four daughters, Jenisha, Taylor, Cale, and Haylee.
Kevin Williams serves his second year as assistant coach at the University of St. Thomas.
For the past year, Williams was responsible for guard mentoring and recruitment of local players. This year he will be more involved with conditioning and scouting of opponents.
Williams graduated from the University of St. Thomas and was a part of the Celt's 2013-14 team that made it to the First Round of the NAIA National Tournament. A Houston native, and starter for the Celt's, Williams finished his two-year career with 444 points, 206 assists and shot 52.4% from the field in his 56 games for the Celt's.
"I am extremely thankful for Kevin's assistance with this team. Last year he had limited duties but he proved to be a valuable asset." Coach Cross said. "His time as a student-athlete from the University of St. Thomas and his knowledge for the game allows him to draw from experience to assist the ladies and this program."
Williams has aspirations to play overseas and continues to work on his game as he helps the Celt's work on theirs.
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