Roden looking to build on DSU’s winning tradition
by Donell Maxie
Jun 17, 2014 | 2106 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Craig Roden was introduced as the new women's basketball coach at Delta State University Monday in the Simmons Room of the Hugh Ellis Walker Alumni House.
Craig Roden was introduced as the new women's basketball coach at Delta State University Monday in the Simmons Room of the Hugh Ellis Walker Alumni House.
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There's a new sheriff in town, and its Craig Roden who was introduced as the new head coach of the Delta State University Lady Statesmen Monday in the Simmons Room of the Hugh Ellis Walker Alumni House.

Roden comes to Delta State from the University of Alabama where he was in the women’s basketball head coach.

For Roden, the opportunity to coach at Delta State was a dream come true.

"This is not a job I needed, it’s a job I wanted," said Roden.

"The things that attracted me to this job are the same things that scare some people; tradition, fan base, expectations. You want to be in a place like this. My motor is turning right now to get started on this job."

Roden is the 11th coach in Delta State history and replaces David Midlick who left after two seasons for an associate coaching job for the University of Memphis Lady Tigers.

Roden has not made any decisions on his support staff as of right now, but did add that he will be addressing it soon.

"I'm going to take my time and look at some things and some different people,” Roden said. “I want to find the best fit for us at Delta State at this time. For me, this is a very important hire.”

When it comes down to basketball Roden has a simple philosophy and approach to how his team goes about its business everyday.

"We are going to roll up our sleeves every day and go to work,” Roden said. “This program has a rich tradition, and we will continue to build upon that foundation."

On the court he added that the Lady Statesmen would be an aggressive, hard-nosed defensive team.

"We are going to bang people around, run into them, get after the loose ball,” Roden said. “Offensively, we’ll be a little more deliberate. We will play as fast as our guards will let us play. We do not run an equal opportunity program. The best shooters and scorers are going to get the shots and if you're not one of the best shooters and scorers you better be a good passer, good rebounder and good defender.”

Roden has coached at every level of collegiate basketball, including the last 18 years in the Gulf South Conference at the University of West Georgia, where he spent 14 seasons, and the last four at UWA. He brings a career 496-448 record to DSU, including a 300-273 mark in GSC play. His 300 GSC victories are the second highest total of any coach in league history; trailing legendary former Lady Statesman head coach Lloyd Clark's 495.

He is married to the former Debra Griffin of Birmingham, Alabama. The Rodens are the parents of three grown children; Tyler, who is a high school basketball coach in Orlando, Florida; Andrew, a police officer in Huntsville, Alabama; and daughter Maggi, who recently graduated from UWA.