April 1, 1999
PULLMAN, Wash. - Randall Dickey and Chris Croft have been named assistant men's basketball coaches Washington State University men's basketball coach Paul Graham announced Thursday. Both have ties to Graham, who himself was named WSU's 14th basketball coach last Thursday.
"I have a familiarity with both of these coaches after working with them at Oklahoma State," Graham said from a recruiting trip in Los Angeles. "Our past working relationship will minimize the learning curve, which means we should be able to get everyone up to speed quicker. They are familiar with the offensive and defensive sets that I plan to run.
"Randall and Chris are as hungry and eager to get the ball rolling as I am. They share the same belief that Washington State can consistently be a postseason basketball team."
Dickey, 39, has been an assistant coach with Graham at Oklahoma State for the last six seasons. He joined the OSU staff for the 1993-94 season and was responsible for assisting head coach Eddie Sutton in scouting and game preparation as well as NCAA rules and eligibility requirements.
"My family and I are extremely excited about coming to Washington State," Dickey said. "I understand there is a lot of hard work to be done, but I'm ready for the challenge.
"I am looking forward to starting a program with Paul Graham. I have never been more impressed with his ability and leadership than I have been in the last few days. He has a clear vision of what he expects to accomplish at Washington State and a strong outline of the steps we need to take to get where we need to be."
After graduating from Ouachita Baptist with a bachelor's degree in education in 1983, Dickey immediately began his coaching career as the head basketball coach at Lakeside High School in Hot Springs, Ark. He coached there for one season before moving on to Morrilton High School in Morrilton, Ark., as the assistant high school coach and head ninth grade coach. He was also the interim head girl's coach at Morriton, taking the 1988 team to the state semifinals.
Dickey left for the college ranks in 1991 to become an assistant at Howard Junior College in Big Spring, Texas, where the team earned a number one national ranking and finished the season with a 32-2 record. In 1992 and 1993, Dickey was an assistant at Midland Junior College (Midland, Texas), where he helped coach the team to a 20-8 record in 1992 and a 23-9 mark in 1993. During his tenure there, he was in charge of basketball recruiting.
Dickey was a three-year starter on the basketball team at Ouachita Baptist and earned All-Arkansas honorable mention in 1982 and '83 and NAIA District 17 honorable mention honors in 1983. A 1978 graduate of Valley Springs High School in Valley Springs, Ark., Dickey was an all-state basketball player and an all-conference baseball selection.
He was born July 29, 1960, in Harrison, Ark., and is married to the former Ginny Jones. The couple celebrated the birth of their first child, Emily Grace, last June. Dickey's hobbies include playing golf, hunting and fishing.
"I have heard tremendous things about what Paul calls the "Cougar family" and the Pullman community and my wife and I are looking forward to celebrating our daughter's first birthday there," Dickey said. "We want to try to have a personal relationship with the students and staff on campus and with the Pullman community. In order to be successful, we have to have them behind our team.
"In turn, our players will know that they represent Washington State University and will give respect to those who paved the way and passed through before us. We will be there to embrace all our players and give them every opportunity to contribute. They may have started with a different staff, but these guys are the first building block of our future. There is a lot to be done, but I guarantee these players will have a lot of fun along the way as well."
Croft, who spent last season as an assistant coach at Maryland-Eastern Shore, has been a collegiate assistant for the past four seasons. In 1999, Maryland-Eastern Shore was 10-17 overall and 7-11 in the Mid Eastern Athletic Conference. Under head coach Lonnie Williams, Croft was responsible for recruiting, scheduling and monitoring academic progress. Williams has ties to the state of Washington. He was a four-year letterman at Eastern Washington and graduated from the Cheney, Wash., school in 1980. Williams' first head coaching job was at Spokane's Whitworth College.
Croft started his coaching career at his alma mater, Southern Mississippi, in 1996 under head coach M.K. Turk. He then moved on to Oklahoma State, as an assistant with Graham for the 1997 and '98 seasons. Under Sutton, Croft was responsible for scouting, scheduling and team travel arrangements and other administrative duties.
Prior to his professional career, Croft expressed a passion for coaching even as an undergraduate. While at East Central Community College in Decatur, Miss., Croft was a student assistant coach. After earning his associate degree, he continued as a student assistant at Southern Miss. He earned a bachelor's degree from USM in coaching and administration in 1995 and completed his master's degree at Southern Miss in 1996.
Croft is a 1991 graduate of Winston Academy in Louisville, Miss.
Graham will be naming a third assistant coach later this spring.
The Dickey File
Coaching Experience Assistant Coach, Oklahoma State, 1994-1999 Assistant Coach, Midland (Texas) JC, 1992-93 Assistant Coach, Howard (Texas) JC, 1991 Assistant Coach, Morrilton (Ark.) HS, 1984-90 Head Coach, Lakeside (Ark.) HS, 1983
Playing Experience Ouachita Baptist, 1979-83
Education Ouachita Baptist (bachelor's degree in education, 1983)
OSU All-Conference Players Coached by Dickey Adrian Peterson Bryant Reeves Randy Rutherford Brooks Thompson
The Croft File
Coaching Experience Assistant Coach, Maryland-Eastern Shore, 1999 Assistant Coach, Oklahoma State 1997-98 Assistant Coach, Southern Mississippi, 1996 Education Southern Mississippi (bachelor's degree in coaching and sports administration, 1995) Southern Mississippi (master's degree in human performance, 1996)