Marty Gross, in his seventh season at Texas A&M Corpus Christi and 41st collegiate season overall, is one of the most highly respected assistant coaches in the country. Gross reunited with head coach, Willis Wilson, after four seasons at Wichita State University. At WSU, Gross was instrumental in helping the Shockers win the 2011 NIT Championship. Gross spent 4 years at Wichita State, 17 years at Rice University, 9 years at Jacksonville University (FL), and 4 years at Birmingham Southern College (AL).
Gross began his collegiate coaching career at Birmingham-Southern College upon graduating from Jacksonville in 1977. During his four years in Birmingham, the Panthers were 103-27, captured three-consecutive Southern States Conference championships, competed in two national tournaments and achieved a national ranking as high as second in the NAIA polls.
In addition to Birmingham Southern College, Gross also coached at his alma mater, Jacksonville University (FL). His first stint at Jacksonville was from 1981 to 1983. Gross then returned to Jacksonville in 1985 and spent the next seven years at the campus, including three seasons as the school’s associate head coach.
Gross has been instrumental in helping cultivate the careers of 52 pros, including 8 from Texas A&M Corpus Christi, 13 from Wichita State University, 21 from Rice, 8 from Jacksonville, 2 from Birmingham Southern College.
While at Jacksonville, Gross teamed with former New Jersey Nets coach and current television analyst Bob Wenzel, helping nurture the careers of six Dolphins selected in the NBA draft. Some of the more notable players include 1986 second-round pick (Denver) and former Orlando Magic General Manager and current Detroit Piston Assistant Otis Smith, 1987 first-round pick Ronnie Murphy (Portland), 1990 first-round selection and NBA Slam Dunk Champion Dee Brown (Boston) and 1992 second-round pick Tim Burroughs (Minnesota). In 1985-86, the Dolphins were 21-10, won the Sun Belt Conference Championship and made an appearance in the NCAA tournament. In 1986-87, the Dolphins were 19-11 and received an NIT postseason bid.
At Rice, Gross coordinated recruiting and was involved extensively in all areas of the day-to-day operations of the men¹s basketball program, including fund-raising, player development, community outreach, scouting, and a daily practice focus on team defense. At Rice, Gross helped develop 21 pros including NBA players Morris Almond (2007 First Round Utah Jazz), Mike Harris (Houston Rockets), and Mike Wilkes (Orlando, Memphis, Milwaukee, Houston, San Antonio, Seattle), and Brent Scott (Indiana Pacers).
In his sixth year with the team, the Islanders have made a huge turnaround, as many of Gross’ recruits peaked in their roles as college basketball players. John Jordan, currently with Toronto’s D-League team the 905’s, was named First Team All-Southland Conference in 2014 and 2015, as he led the team to a 14-4 conference mark and a second-place finish his junior year and a 20-16 mark with a third place finish his senior year.
Jordan wasn’t the only standout player to turn heads for the Islanders. Junior college product
6-10 F/C Zane Knowles was one of the top rebounders in the league with 7.6 per game in 2015. 6-1 G Brandon Pye was one of the top three point marksmen in the country. 6-8 F Rashawn Thomas has been named to the 2015 All Southland Conference Second Team, 2016 All Southland Conference First Team, 2016 NABC All District 23 First Team, 2017 First Team All Southland Conference, 2017 First Team All Defense, and NABC First Team All District 23. 6-7 F Bryce Douvier was named to the 2015 Southland Conference All-Academic Team and currently plays professionally in Portugal. Ehab Amin was named 2017 Second Team All Southland Conference and First Team All Defense. Amin was also named to the 2017 NABC Second Team. In addition, 6-2 G, Jake Kocher, from Austin, TX has been a 2016 and 2017 All Academic Southland Conference selection.
Gross has been key in luring some of the top talent from around the Lone Star State. In addition to landing Jordan out of Houston, the Islanders also have added class of 2014 product Joe Kilgore (Dekaney HS), who was a top-10 recruit in Houston. The Islanders have also added strong pieces from San Antonio (Converse Judson’s Jamell Bradley), the Dallas area (Mansfield Timberview’s Brandon Pye), and Houston (Klein’s Elijah Schmidt and Myles Smith and Porter’s 6-8 Rhea Twins Sean and Deion) in Gross’ tenure.
His recruiting ties are not just found in Texas, though. The Islanders have added all-state basketball player as a senior in 1973. He is a member of the Yankton Senior High School Hall of Fame, NABC, Texas Association of Basketball Coaches (TABC), Church of the Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, and active in AIA and FCA.
Gross is married to Mary Pat Nelson, a native of Beaumont, TX.
Gross Coached Players in the Pros:
Islanders in the Pros
- Chris Mast 6-6, 2012
- Terence Jones 6-3, 2013
- Zane Knowles 6-10, 2014
- John Jordan 5-10, 2015
- Hameed Ali 6-3, 2016
- Bryce Douvier 6-7, 2016
- Viktor Juricek 7-0, 2016
- Rashawn Thomas 6-8, 2017
Shockers in the Pros
- Gal Mekel 6-3, 2008 Dallas Mavericks
- Phillip Thomasson 6-6 Forward, 2008 Alaior (Spain)
- PJ Cousinard 6-4 Guard, 2008 Poland
- Ramon Clemente 6-6, 2009 Mayaguez (Puerto Rico)/Nahariya (Israel)
- Mantas Griskenas 6-7, 2009 CSU Sibiu (Romania)
- Clevin Hannah 5-11, 2010 Evereuz (France)
- Aaron Ellis 6-9, 2011 Kaiserslautern (Germany)
- JT Durley 6-8, 2011 Melilla (Spain)
- Gabe Blair 6-8, 2011 Capitol (Uraguay)
- Garrett Stutz 7-0, 2012 Energa Czami (Poland)
- Joe Ragland 6-0, 2012 Cantu (Italy)
- David Kyles 6-3, 2012 Svitavy (Czech Republic)
- Toure’ Murry 6-5, 2012 New York Knicks
Owls in the Pros
- Brent Scott, Center, 1992 (Indiana Pacers), AEK Athens (Greece)
- Marvin Moore, Guard, 1993
- David Holmes, Guard, 1993
- Adam Peakes, Guard, 1995 Jaguares de la UAM
- Tommy McGhee, Guard, 1996 Szczecin STK
- J.J. Polk, Guard, 1997 Wildcats ABA
- Shaun Igo, Center, 1997 Columbus (NBADL)
- Jarvis Kelly Sanni, Forward, 1998 Lambusart (Belgium)
- Robert Johnson, Guard, 1999 Jaguares de la UAM
- Jason Skaer, Forward, 1999 Oberwalters (Austria)
- Alex Bougaieff, Center, 2000 Umana VE (Italy)
- Erik Cooper, Forward, 2001 San Andres (Columbia)
- Mike Wilks, Guard, 2001 (Orlando, Memphis, Milwaukee, Houston, San Antonio, Seattle)
- T.J. McKenzie, Center, 2002 Charleston (NBADL)
- Yamar Diene, Center, 2004 Besancon (France)
- Jason McKrieth, Guard, 2005 Austin (NBADL)
- Michael Harris, Forward, 2005 Utah Jazz/Houston Rockets
- Brock Gillespie, Guard, 2005 Austin (NBADL)
- Morris Almond, Guard, 2007 Utah Jazz, Cherkasy (Ukraine)
Dolphins in the Pros
- Mike Hackett 1982 (LA Lakers Third Round)
- Otis Smith 1986 (Denver Nuggets Second Round)
- Danny Pearson 1987 (Washington Bullets seventh round)
- Ronnie Murphy 1987 (Portland Trailblazers First Round)
- Willie McDuffie 1987 Sopran KC (Hungary)
- Dee Brown 1990 (Boston Celtics First Round) NBA Slam Dunk Champion
- Tim Burroughs 1992 (Minnesota Timberwolves Second Round)
Panthers in the Pros
- Jay Higginbotham 6-5 Guard 1981 Austria
- James Harmon 6-7 Forward 1981