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Cross selected to direct Co-Lin football program

WESSON – Copiah-Lincoln Community College defensive coordinatorDavid Cross has been named head football coach at Co-Lin. Cross wasapproved at Thursday night’s meeting of the Co-Lin Board ofTrustees.

Cross, 40, named interim head coach in mid-November, replacesPhil Broome who resigned after six years at the helm. Broome posteda 30-30 record, including a 3-7 mark this season.

Cross was among 10 applicants for the job. The Co-Lin searchcommittee interviewed three of the candidates.

“The search committee did an excellent job of attracting anumber of good applicants for the position,” said Co-Lin presidentDr. Howell Garner. “The committee was instructed to find the verybest person to fill the position of head coach. I’m confident DaveCross is the person for the job.”

Co-Lin athletic director Gwyn Young served as head of the searchcommittee. Also on the committee were Brenda Smith, head of theCo-Lin Physical Education Department; Ray Ishee, Dean of Students;and Johnny Williams, computer instructor and assistant softballcoach.

Cross is the third Co-Lin assistant coach to be promoted to thehead job in the last 15 years. Ishee replaced James Sloan in 1985and won a state championship in his first year at the helm. Isheewas followed by Randall Bradberry in 1990 and Broome in 1995.

“During my discussions with Coach Cross, I was impressed withthe ideas and plans that he laid out to provide the leadership tobuild on what is there to make our program the best it can be,”Garner continued. “He certainly knows our program and I amconfident he has the coaching skills to do what is needed to makeit be successful.”

Cross, a Starkville native, has served six years as an assistantcoach at Co-Lin. He moved to Co-Lin from Greensboro (Ala.) HighSchool where he was head coach for three years, notching a 22-8record and advancing to the state playoffs each year.

Earlier in his career, Cross spent three years as defensivecoordinator at Marion (Ala.) Institute. He coached two years atMississippi State University under former MSU head coach RockyFelker.

“First of all, I’m very appreciative of Dr. Garner and thesearch committee,” said Cross. “They had some good applicants forthe job. I appreciate the opportunity to serve as head coach atCo-Lin.”

Cross said he planned to hire a qualified offensive coordinator.”I’m looking for someone who has been at this level and who hasrecruiting experience. We need someone who has experience at thislevel.”

At the present time, Cross and his staff of assistant coachesare concentrating on recruiting high school standouts.

“This is a critical time for us in recruiting,” said Cross. “Ouroffseason weightlifting program is very important. As soon as ourplayers get back from Christmas break, we will start back hard atit.”

Plans are for Cross to recruit in North and South Carolina nextweek. Most out-of-state players are projected as major collegeprospects upon graduation from Co-Lin.

“I’m very optimistic about the future,” said Cross.”We have alarge, really good group of district players returning. We want toevaluate our out-of-state prospects, too.”

Sophomore quarterback Denard Parks of Miami, Fla., an all-stateSouth Division selection as a freshman, was injured in the secondgame of the season at Itawamba. He received a medical hardship andwill return for the 2001 campaign.

Cross said he would continue as defensive coordinator. “I thinkit makes sense for me to stay on defense. I’ve been defensivecoordinator for four years.”

The Co-Lin recruiting district includes the counties of Lincoln,Copiah, Lawrence, Franklin, Adams, Jefferson and Simpson. Accordingto conference rules, a maximum of 10 out-of-state players areallowed on the 55-man roster at each school.

“We need to fill some key areas on both sides of the ball,” saidCross. “We are always looking for offensive and defensivelinemen.”

Cross is married to the former Sherry Tanksley of Louisville.They have two children, Kristen Nicole, 12; and James Kyle, 7.

He graduated from Starkville High School in 1978. Cross earned aB.S. degree in physical education and later received his M.Ed.degree from Mississippi State. He has completed additional studiesat Blinn (Texas) College and Livingston (Ala.) University.