Tony Cross, the all-time winningest women’s basketball coach at Belmont University, passed away Wednesday in Murray, KY. He was 64.
Cross was head coach at Belmont for 26 seasons, compiling a 544-255 record from 1984-2010. He posted 23 straight seasons with a .500 record or better.
"Our entire Belmont Athletics' family is deeply saddened by Tony's passing," Belmont University Director of Athletics Scott Corley said in a statement posted on the school’s website. "Tony's impact upon this university - and the student-athletes he coached and mentored - was profound, as evidenced by the lasting relationships he forged. Tony loved nothing more than staying connected with former student-athletes and staff members; beaming with pride as they embarked on career paths and began families of their own.”
Cross was the school’s second women’s basketball coach, succeeding Betty Wiseman. He was inducted into the school’s athletics’ hall of fame in 1994.
In 15 years of coaching at the NAIA level, he led the program to four NAIA Tournament appearances and coached three NAIA All-Americans. After Belmont moved to NCAA, he led the Bruins to its first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance in 2007.
After leaving Belmont, Cross served as an assistant coach at Murray State. He took a reduced role with the team in September after the school announced he had been diagnosed with cancer.
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