New coach promises ‘blue-collar’ style of play

New coach promises blue-collar style of play

The new men’s basketball coach will bring a workman-like style of play from Kent State University to Fort Worth, he said Saturday at his introductory press conference.

Owning the Mid-American Conference’s highest winning percentage, head coach Jim Christian was introduced to media, players and alumni Saturday at the John Justin Athletic Center.

“This program’s going to be blue collar – we’re going to work and we’re going to start as soon as we can,” Christian said. “I’m ready to get to work here.”

Christian compiled a record of 137-59 in six seasons as head coach for the Golden Flashes, including two NCAA tournament appearances in 2006 and 2008, where KSU earned its first top-25 ranking in school history. Christian was named the MAC Coach of the Year twice in the past three seasons, and he won at least 20 games in each of his six seasons.

In the ongoing 2008 tournament, Christian’s Golden Flashes earned a No. 9 seed. The team fell in the first round against Mountain West Conference squad University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

TCU athletics director Danny Morrison said Christian was on his list from the beginning of TCU’s head coach search, which was assisted by consulting firm Eastman & Beaudine.

“We targeted him because of the winning program aspect, and we loved the fact that he sustained it over a long period of time,” Morrison said.

Christian said he is ready to get to work.

“I’m jazzed up right now,” Christian said. “I’m ready to get on the floor. We’re starting this tomorrow … People all over the country are trying to win championships, and we’re going to be no different.”

Junior forward Kevin Langford said the hiring helped the team focus.

“Everybody was kind of in limbo,” Langford said. “Everybody is relieved to get some stability now, and somebody to really lead.”

Sophomore guard Keion Mitchem said Christian will be a hands-on coach.

“He told us he’s going to be at every workout with us,” Mitchem said. “Everybody’s ready for a fresh start.”