Missouri State Basketball Staff Update

Ford adds two veteran coaches to Bears staff

Missouri State men’s basketball coach Dana Ford has announced Tuesday (Aug. 16) the addition of a pair of coaching staff personnel with Randy Peele assuming the role of special assistant to the head coach, and Marty Gross joining the staff as director of basketball operations.

Both veteran coaches of more than 30 years at the NCAA Division I level, Peele and Gross will both begin their duties at Missouri State on August 18.

“We are excited about the addition of two veteran college basketball coaches to our staff,” said Ford. “I have the upmost respect for both of them, as they are men of integrity, honor and conduct themselves in a first-class manner.  They understand the importance of developing student-athletes both on and off the floor. Both have an understanding of what it takes to win championships at this level as they have been a part of many over their careers.”

Randy Peele 
Veteran coach Peele comes to Missouri State from Texas Southern University where he has been special assistant to the head coach since 2018. Peele has been part of three postseason runs in the last four seasons there, including back-to-back SWAC Championships and NCAA Tournament runs in 2021 and 2022.

He has also been to three NCAA Tournaments as a head coach and spent four season as the Associate Head Coach for the Tennessee State men’s basketball team under Dana Ford from 2014-18.

Peele guided UNC Greensboro to a 20-win season and NCAA Tournament berth in 1996 and was head coach there from 1995-99. He went on to serve as an assistant coach at Virginia Tech from 1999-02 under Ricky Stokes as the Hokies transitioned from the Atlantic 10 to the Big East. He then joined Gregg Marshall’s staff at Winthrop from 2003-07 and assumed the head coaching duties at Winthrop when Marshall departed for Wichita State. As head coach at Winthrop (2007-12), Peele led Winthrop to NCAA Tournament berths in 2008 and 2010. He is the only coach in Big South history to take two different teams to the NCAA Tournament.

He has also made assistant coaching stops at St. Michael’s College in Vermont (1983-85), UT Martin (1985-88), Campbell (1988-1991), UNCG (1991-1995) and Georgia Southern (2013-14).

Peele graduated from Virginia Wesleyan in 1980 with a bachelor’s degree in secondary education and history. He is married to the former Debra Carter and they have three children, Aaron, Brad and Blair.

He replaces Chris Lowery who departed Missouri State in late July for a coaching opportunity at Northwestern University.

Marty Gross 
Gross comes to Missouri State after a 10-year stint as men’s basketball associate head coach at Texas A&M – Corpus Christi where he was part of the Islanders staff from 2011 to 2021. With Gross on staff, TAMU-CC enjoyed one of its most successful seasons ever in 2015-16, rolling up 25 wins and advancing to the Southland Conference Championship game for the first time and making three straight postseason appearances.

Before coming to the Coastal Bend, Gross spent a four-year stint from 2007 to 2011 as an assistant coach at Wichita State, where he helped lead the Shockers to 29 wins and the NIT title in 2010-11. In each of his four seasons with WSU, the team improved its win total.

Gross served as an assistant at Rice from 1992-2007, helping the Owls to 60 wins from 2002-05, the second-most wins in a three-year span in school history. He began his collegiate coaching career at Birmingham Southern University where the Panthers were 103-27, captured three consecutive Southern States Conference championships, made two NAIA national tournaments runs and were ranked as high as No. 2 nationally. He also coached at his alma mater, Jacksonville University, where he served two assisting coaching stints, including three seasons as the school’s associate head coach. In 1985-86, the Dolphins were 21-10, won the Sun Belt Conference Championship and made an appearance in the NCAA tournament. 

He has also been instrumental in cultivating the careers of 40 professional players, including first-round picks Dee Brown and Morris Almond, as well as notable pros Mike Harris, Mike Wilks, Brent Scott, Toure Murry, Ronnie Murphy and Tim Burroughs.

Gross was a four-year letterman at Jacksonville University where he served as the team’s co-captain as a senior in 1977. He also played on the 1974 Jacksonville NIT team, which featured four NBA draft selections. He received a B.S. in management from Jacksonville in 1977 and a Masters in the Art of Teaching from UAB in 1979.

A native of Yankton, S.D., Gross is married to the former Mary Pat Nelson.


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