Women's Basketball Headline
By Chris Harry
GatorZone.com Senior Writer
GatorZone.com Senior Writer
“Football,” she said. “And Tim Tebow.”
It was a natural response for a basketball coach who had never been on the UF campus, but as the newest member of the Gators women’s hoops staff Crosby’s eyes are now wide open to the possibilities for the program across the atrium from Billy Donovan’s office.
Crosby, who spent last season at UNC Charlotte and three seasons before that at Virginia Tech, was hired last week to fill the assistant’s post vacated by Brenda Mock Kirkpatrick, who left earlier this month to become head coach at UNC Asheville.
“This is a great opportunity for me, but obviously the potential here is through the roof,” the 40-year-old Crosby said Tuesday. “It became very apparent during my interview that there is a lot of belief in the direction we’re going.”
Gators coach Amanda Butler, who guided the Gators to a 20-13 record and into the second-round of the NCAA Tournament, had crossed paths with Crosby over the course of their careers.
“She’s fantastic,” Butler said.
Though Butler came to Florida after two seasons as head coach at UNCC, the ties Crosby shares with the 49ers were coincidental.
Instead, Butler saw first-hand how UNCC competed against the Gators in a neutral-site game last year. Butler knew the personnel Crosby recruited at Virginia Tech and before that during four years at Tennessee-Chattanooga, which dominated the Southern Conference in winning regular-season and league tournament crowns all four of those seasons.
“What you look for is how well someone can recruit to their level [of competition],” Butler said. “She’s been at a lot of different levels and her work has translated very well.”
Aside from recruiting duties, Crosby will join forces with assistant and former UF All-America center Murriel Page to coach the post players. Crosby knows a little something about that, too. At Appalachian State, she scored more than 1,000 points and grabbed more than 500 rebounds, As a senior in 1994, Crosby averaged 21.9 points and 9.3 rebounds on her way to being named Southern Conference Player of the Year.
Crosby, her office and desk still very much disarray, was asked if she planned to hit the ground running in her new job.
“Sprinting,” she said. “Definitely sprinting.”
Crosby believes it’s important for the Gators to capitalize on the momentum built from the 2011-12 season, which not only brought Butler her second NCAA berth in six seasons, but ended with a respectable showing in a loss to NCAA Player of the Year Brittney Griner and eventual unbeaten national champion Baylor.
In that game, the Gators trailed the Bears by just nine at halftime, with Baylor pulling away as the second half wore on.
“If there were some people out there that weren’t watching Florida, now they’re eyebrows are raised,” Crosby said. “That’s what you want. You want recruits to say, ‘I want to be one to help them get past Baylor.’ We want players who want to take us past the second round, and beyond that.”