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OJC Press Release ID: 3034

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Ted Crass Named Head Men’s Basketball Coach at OJC


Written by Tim Kelley, social media & athletic information coordinator

Otero Junior College has announced that Ted Crass will be the new Head Men’s Basketball Coach for the OJC Rattlers. Crass has most recently served as the assistant coach and recruitment director at Abilene Christian College, a NCAA Division I college.

When asked about the hiring of Coach Crass, Athletic Director, Chris Carrillo stated, “Without question, Coach Crass has a very bright future as a head coach at the college level. Otero is very excited about the future success of the Otero Basketball program under the leadership of Coach Crass.”

Crass has a strong passion to serve others and has found the field of coaching to be immensely rewarding on a personal level. Crass grew up in Little Rock, Ark., where his father played college basketball. As a kid he grew up loving the game. Crass’s first job was at his local Boys and Girls Club where he started coaching youth in his area. Coaching those children evolved into Crass starting an Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) team when he was in high school, coaching many athletes who were only a few years younger than he was. This passion for coaching turned into a student manager position at the University of Arkansas (UA) – Little Rock, where he was also a walk-on player and voted Team Captain by his teammates. Crass received his Bachelors of Arts degree in in Speech Communication from UA – Little Rock.

Crass then developed several years of experience at the NCAA Division 1 level. Starting in 2014, Crass worked as an assistant coach for UA - Little Rock as well as serving as the director of player development and director of basketball operations. During his time at UA-Little Rock he was part of an NCAA Tournament win during the 2015-2016 season.

In 2016 he moved on to Abilene Christian University as an assistant coach. While he was at Abilene the team saw 20 back-to-back wins for the first time in school history and had the #1 scoring defense in the Southland Conference during the 2019-20 season. Abilene was the Southland Conference Tournament Champions for the 2018-19 season, and saw numerous NCAA tournament appearances.

Crass has known about Otero’s basketball program for a number of years, has followed its successes closely, and plans to continue building on the successes of previous coaches. The first priority for Crass is getting great student athletes on campus and graduating them so that they may go on to become professionals in the fields of their choice. Crass would like to thank Athletic Director Chris Carrillo, Dean of Students, Gary Addington and President, Dr. Timothy Alvarez for this opportunity, stating, “I have worked my whole life for this opportunity and I am fired up to be the Head Coach of the OJC Rattlers.” Crass would also like to thank the coaches he has served under, including Joe Golding at ACU and Chris Beard at UA – Little Rock.

Crass stated that he prides himself on always looking for something to work on, not waiting for the next assignment, leading by example and creating an atmosphere of accountability through the relationships with his players.

When asked what he enjoys doing in his spare time Crass noted that he enjoys staying physically fit and playing golf, even though he is terrible at the game. But there’s a reason why his golf game isn’t at the level he would like it to be at.

At the age of 23, Crass was the Director of Basketball Operations at UA-Little Rock under Coach Shields. He was leaving one Wednesday afternoon at about four p.m. to go to the driving range and practice his golf game. Coach Shields was walking into the office as Crass was leaving. Coach Shields asked, “Where are you going?” To which Crass replied, “Oh, I’m just going to the driving range to hit some balls with my friends.”

Coach Shields called Crass the next day and told him he needed to talk to him. He said, “Ted, what are your goals in this business?” Crass had big dreams and he responded, “Coach, I want to be a head coach by the time I’m 30.” He replied “Well, to be a head coach by the time you’re 30, you’re probably not going to get to go play golf at four o’clock on a Wednesday.” He took this advice to heart and as a result, Coach Crass’s golf game has suffered, but it was all worth it to him, because now he is Head Coach of the Rattlers as his 30th birthday approaches.

Press Release Photo
Otero Junior College has announced that Ted Crass will be the new Head Men’s Basketball Coach for the OJC Rattlers.