In my time covering sports, it has often been the case that it is the players who receive the most press. And for most coaches, that’s how they prefer it to be. But I have often thought that for as much as we write about the backgrounds and journeys of the players up to this point in their careers, we ought to talk about the journeys of the coaches more. Each of them have a story to tell, and such is the case with UMHB men’s basketball head coach Clif Carroll.
In his three years in Belton, Carroll has become a recognizable figure, thanks to his team’s extraordinary success on the court, but also for his true passion for UMHB and Crusader athletics. His easy-going personality is infectious, and is part of what has made him so successful on the sidelines in every position he has held.
Since coming to UMHB from Sul Ross State, Carroll is 67-13 with The Cru, bringing in a number of talented players who have helped turn UMHB into a national title contender every year. In each of the last two seasons, Carroll’s team has reached the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament, and won the ASC regular season title in 2021-22 and 2022-23 as well.
A native of Meadow, Texas (pop. 593), Carroll ascended the coaching ranks, learning from remarkable basketball minds in Steve Green, Bobby Knight, and Pat Knight, as he made stops at South Plains Junior College, Texas Tech, Collin County Community College, and Lamar. He earned his first head coaching position at McMurry, where he coached two seasons, before moving on to Sul Ross State.
This is a remarkable conversation covering Carroll’s journey to Belton, how a farming accident got him into coaching initially, and what he has learned along the way.
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