NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Dana Ford was introduced as the next head coach of the Tennessee State men’s basketball team at a press conference on Monday.
“We are going to be in the hands of a rising star,” Athletics Director Teresa Phillips said. “Dana is a well-rounded man with wisdom that goes beyond his years. He is the right fit at the right time.”
Ford, 29, will take over a program that went 5-25 last season. However, he has shown that he can turn things around quickly, as TSU increased its win total to twenty games during his final year as an assistant (2010-11).
“My main goal is to build a program that the current students and the past alumni can be proud of,” Ford said. “The focus will be about the players; they will be responsible for the wins, while I will be held accountable for the losses.
“Recruiting is the life-line of the program and I have a pretty good track record as a recruiter, but any head coach is just as good as his staff. I look forward to bringing together the best personnel.”
Ford was also responsible for signing high-profile Tigers Robert Covington, Patrick Miller and Kellen Thornton among others.
“The only thing that I can promise is that we will play defense like our hair is on fire and rebound like mad men.”
What others are saying about Ford’s hiring:
“I am really excited for Dana and his family. Dana was very integral to our success while I was there in Nashville. TSU is getting a fine young coach who will do things the right way while also leading a disciplined program. I expect Dana to educate young men on and off the court as well as compete for championships in due time.” - John Cooper, Head Coach Miami (OH)
“Dana Ford is a rising star in our profession. I was fortunate to be able to work alongside Dana for the past two years and watch him grow. His passion, energy, knowledge, intensity and ability to build relationships with people are going to allow Dana to be very successful as a head coach. We will all miss Dana here at Illinois State, but I could not be happier for him and his family to get this great opportunity at Tennessee State.” - Dan Muller, Head Coach Illinois State
"Dana Ford is a rising superstar in the college coaching ranks. He has paid his dues and prepared himself for this opportunity the right way. His résumé is topped off with an aggressive, charismatic style that is guarded with wonderful humility. The TSU fans can expect big things from this talented coach." - Stan Jones, Associate Head Coach Florida State
“I have known Dana since he was in high school and I tried to recruit him to attend Indiana State. The same qualities that he possessed back then to make him a successful basketball player are the exact same qualities that will make him a successful head coach. He is first and foremost a good person who cares about the welfare of others, with a relentless work ethic. He is extremely bright and relates well to all, regardless of demographics.” - Rick Ray, Head Coach Mississippi State