Jonesboro, AR (A-State) – Ross Hodge, recognized as a top recruiter by multiple publications, has been named the associate head coach for Arkansas State men's basketball, head coach Grant McCasland announced today.
"Ross Hodge is a star in this business," said McCasland. "He's won at a high level everywhere he's been, whether it was as the head or assistant coach. But, the most important piece of what he will bring to our program is he is someone who is fiercely committed to his players. Jonesboro will love Ross, his sweet wife, Shelly, and their kids, Emery and Reed."
Hodge, named the No. 6 recruiter in an ESPN.com top-10 list of recruiters outside the high resource conferences, joins the A-State coaching staff after four seasons with head coach Larry Eustachy at Colorado State. Hodge, labeled as the No. 14 recruiter in a CoachStat.net top-25 list of coaches outside of the high resource conferences, served as the lead recruiter at Colorado State and helped the Rams to an 87-48 record over his four-year stint. During his time at Colorado State, the Rams advanced to postseason play twice, including the NCAA Tournament in 2013.
"I have been blessed to work for some really great coaches," said Hodge. "I'm excited and extremely humbled to serve as Coach McCasland's associate head coach. He has won everywhere he has been and I believe he will do the same at Arkansas State. As good a basketball coach as he is, he is an even better person. My family and I are very thankful for the opportunity."
This past season, the Rams posted an 18-16 record and completed a four-year stretch with 87 wins, the most in program history. Colorado State has led the Mountain West in scoring each of the past two seasons, ranking 36th nationally in 2015-16 averaging 79.4 points. The Rams posted a program-best 27-7 record in 2014-15, ending the year in the NIT for the fifth postseason appearance in six seasons. Colorado State, which was ranked in top-25 polls for the second time in three seasons, opened the season with the program-best 14-0 mark.
Coming off a third round appearance in the 2013 NCAA Tournament, Colorado State posted a 16-16 record in the 2013-14 campaign. Hodge was named a top-five assistant coach in the Mountain West conference by Next Up Recruits in 2013. The Rams went 26-9 in 2012-13 bowing out in the third round of the NCAA Tournament to eventual champion Louisville. The Rams led the nation in rebound margin (+11.9) and ranked 31st in scoring margin (+9.3) and Colorado State entered the national polls for the first time since the 1954.
Hodge, a Dallas native, joined the Division I coaching ranks when he was hired by Eustachy as an assistant coach at Southern Miss prior to the 2011-12 season. The Golden Eagles posted a 25-9 record and finished second with an 11-5 mark in Conference USA. Southern Miss received an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament and was paired against Kansas State in the No. 8 versus No. 9 seed matchup.
Before joining Eustachy at Southern Miss, Hodge compiled a record of 146-24 in head coaching stints at Midland Junior College (2009-11) and Paris Junior College (2006-09). In his two-year stint with Midland College, Hodge guided the Chaps' to an impressive 63-7 (.900) record. Hodge saw his 2010-11 squad post a 33-4 record while winning the Western Junior College Athletics Conference Title, the Region V Tournament championship and advance to the NJCAA Championship game. In his first season (2009-10), following McCasland's departure to Midwestern State, Hodge led Midland College to their best start in program history (26-0) before ending the season in the Region V Tournament title game with a record of 30-3 and the nation's No. 1 ranking.
Hodge coached for four years at Paris Junior College, the last three as head coach. In those three seasons, Hodge led the Dragons to an 83-17 (.830) record. The Dragons won two Texas Eastern Athletic Conference regular-season championships and in 2006-07 he was named the Conference Coach of the Year. The following season, Hodge earned Region 14 Coach of the Year honors after his team won the Region 14 Tournament and finished eighth in the NJCAA Tournament.
Between 2003 and 2005 Hodge served as the assistant men's basketball coach at Texas A&M University-Commerce, where he helped the Lions to the 2004-05 Lone Star Conference Championship, and a spot in the NCAA Division II Sweet Sixteen. Hodge was a two-year starter at Paris Junior College, where he won the Bobby Walters Leadership Award in 2001. He finished his playing career at Texas A&M-Commerce, where he was honored with the Terry Allen Award for leadership and positive representation on and off the court in 2003.