Women's assistant coach John McCray leaves UTC for Florida

Women's assistant coach John McCray leaves UTC for Florida

April 19th, 2017 by Gene Henley in Sports - College

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's basketball assistant coach John McCray has accepted a position at Florida under new head coach Cameron Newbauer.

McCray, who primarily worked with the post players at UTC, is the first departure from the staff in Jim Foster's four years as the Mocs' head coach. He started his career as a video assistant for Foster at Ohio State, then spent two seasons as a graduate assistant at Foster's alma mater of St. Joseph's before rejoining him in Chattanooga.

"John comes from a great pedigree, working under the legendary Jim Foster, learning and being mentored by him," Newbauer said in a press release. "Hearing Coach Foster - a Hall of Famer - talk about John and knowing what he values about him really stood out. I've always respected John and his work ethic and humble personality. He's one of those individuals who is very diligent and detailed, which is so important. Our paths crossed countless times on the recruiting trail over the years and I admired the way he conducted himself."

McCray was instrumental in the development of graduating senior Jasmine Joyner, as well as rising junior Ashlyn Wert. Bradley Central product Brooke Copeland, who would have been a senior on the court this season with the Gators, has decided not to continue playing basketball. She plans to graduate this summer and become a missionary, according to a report.

The Gators, a preseason Top 25 team, finished 15-16. They lost Eleanna Christinaki, who had 29 points and nine rebounds when Florida defeated UTC 72-61 on Nov. 14, early in the season. The All-Southeastern Conference guard quit the team, refusing to accept a suspension.

The Mocs finished 21-11 this season with their fourth Southern Conference championship in Foster's four seasons.

Contact Gene Henley at ghenley@timesfreepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @genehenleytfp.