Earlier this month, Vanderbilt made a pretty bold hire, naming former NBA All-Star Jerry Stackhouse as its next head coach. Stackhouse had thrived at the G-League level, and was likely going to get NBA looks in the near future.
Instead, he is SEC-bound. He's started to zero in on some assistants to round out his staff.
Cal assistant David Grace and Memphis Grizzlies assistant Adam Mazarei are both reportedly set to join the Commodores staff. They'll reportedly be joined by Nicki Gross, who previously worked with Stackhouse when he was the head coach of Toronto 905, the Raptors' G-League affiliate.1
Gross was the only female coach at the level, having also coached with the Iowa Energy. Last season, she joined Stackhouse on the Grizzlies staff, where she served as an analyst.
Nicki Gross' impending hire by Vanderbilt was first reported by VandySports.com, of the Rivals network.
The Tennessean has confirmed the move:
Jerry Stackhouse plans to add Nicki Gross, previously the only female assistant coach in the NBA G League, to his Vanderbilt men’s basketball staff.
A source close to the situation confirmed to The Tennessean that Vanderbilt plans to hire Gross, pending routine background checks by the university and SEC office done for athletics department staff.
Gross is not expected to serve as one of Vanderbilt's three lead assistants, but given her familiarity with Stackhouse, and her experience in high level basketball, expect it to be a pretty major role.
Gross played varsity soccer at Seton Hall and ran track at Monmouth, before making the move into basketball coaching. She became the video coordinator for Monmouth, and worked her way up to an internship with the NBA summer league, and eventually a staff position with the Energy, before becoming an assistant with that team.