Athens Review, Athens, Texas

May 24, 2013

A little old and new

Durham returning to Cross Roads to serve as athletic director

Joe Elerson
The Athens Review

Athens — CROSS ROADS — A former Cross Roads coach is returning to lead the Cross Roads athletic program after his approval by the school board on Thursday night.

Giff Durham will return to the school and coach either girls basketball or volleyball, according to Superintendent Clay Tompkins. The news was first reported by As first reported by Central Texas ESPN 1660 AM radio host David Smoak.

Durham has been the girls head basketball coach at Mount Pleasant. He replaces Brad Wallace, who was not renewed earlier this year. Wallace was 2-8 in his only season as football coach at Cross Roads.

“(Durham) clearly is an outstanding coach,” Tompkins said. “We feel like he can be a positive addition to our athletic program. When he starts will be up to him. I expect probably next week for him to come in and start meeting with the kids and the coaching staff.”

This is not the first time Cross Roads has split the duties of athletic director and head football coach, as it made the move twice in the 1990s.

Jeff Thorpe and Danny Hughes each served as basketball coaches and athletic directors.

“Giff was here for seven years prior and he is a proven candidate,” School Board President Scott Huddleston said. “We know Giff and the discipline he expects out of the players. We are proud to have him and we look for positive things to come out of the program. We know he is extremely capable.”

Huddleston said the process to select Durham went through a committee of citizens from Cross Roads.

“ … They reviewed multiple applications and they did interviews on three orfive of them. After those interviews he was chosen as their top choice from the top two finalists,” Huddleston said.

The reason for the split, according to Huddleston and Tompkins, was based on the fact on finding more options and having a bigger pool of candidates to chose from.

Tompkins said the decision will go through Durham and he believes his new AD will look to find the right candidate as soon as possible.

“I think he can find a good guy that would be willing to take it without being the AD,” Tompkins said.

Tompkins said fans of Cross Roads will see a very structured program and hard work ethic for all student athletes involved in the program.

“As far as changing, I think he will be a very structured person,” Tompkins said. “He likes to win and I think he brings some positive aspects to the program.”