OXFORD, Miss. (WTVA/Ole Miss Athletics) – Ole Miss head men’s basketball coach Kermit Davis has announced the addition of Thomas Gray to his staff. Gray, who spent the past four seasons as the head coach at Southwest Mississippi Community College, will serve as the team’s coordinator of operations.
“Thomas is an outstanding young coach that did an exceptional job with the culture at Southwest Mississippi Community College,” said Davis. “Thomas is highly organized with great energy, and he will bring tremendous enthusiasm to Ole Miss Basketball.”
In his role with the Rebels, Gray will manage the day-to-day operations of the Ole Miss men’s basketball program. Specific duties include coordinating team travel, organizing summer camps and monitoring the budget.
“I am blessed beyond measure to have the opportunity to work for the one of the best head coaches in country, Coach Kermit Davis,” said Gray. “In my mind, no one in college basketball establishes a culture of success, both on and off the floor, like Coach Davis. Combining that with such a magnificent institution guided by the leadership of Chancellor Jeff Vitter and Vice Chancellor of Intercollegiate Athletics Ross Bjork truly presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. My wife Ashley and I are so grateful to be a part of the family here at Ole Miss.”
Gray compiled a 61-39 record in four years at Southwest Mississippi C.C., guiding the Bears to the NJCAA Region 23 semifinals in each of the past two seasons. During his tenure, Gray coached 15 players that went on to earn NCAA Division I scholarships, the most of any Region 23 team over the last four years. Student-athletes excelled on and off the court under Gray’s tutelage with all but two holding grade point averages that exceeded 3.0 throughout his time as Southwest’s head coach.
Last season, Southwest got off to its best start in more than 20 years by winning 12 of its first 13 games. Gray led the Bears to their third straight season of at least 17 wins, the first time Southwest accomplished that feat in three decades. During the 2016-17, campaign, Southwest finished runner-up in the MACJC South Division, the highest division finish since 2001, with an 18-9 record. His team was named the NJCAA Men’s Basketball Academic Team of the Year for the second consecutive year with a team GPA of 3.59, the second-highest cumulative GPA in the history of NJCAA Men’s Basketball. The Bears became the first MACJC men’s basketball team to ever win the award in 2015-16, boasting a 3.42 GPA. In just his second season as Southwest head coach, Gray led the Bears to a MACJC State Championship for the first time in 53 years.
Prior to becoming the head coach, Gray was an assistant coach at SMCC for three seasons. He began working in the college basketball world as a graduate assistant at Mississippi College, where he earned his master’s degree in 2011. Gray also attended Mississippi College as an undergraduate, collecting a bachelor’s degree in 2009.