New Morehead coach lets clothes do the shouting

Hodges strikes deal with Daly's outfitter to Put Eagles on Map

jsmith3@herald-leader.comNovember 13, 2010 

The Morehead State women's basketball team has not only the youngest head coach in the country, but also probably the most oddly dressed.

Just call Tom Hodges the young and the tasteless.

He won't mind, as long as you're paying attention.

The newly hired Hodges and assistant coach Eric White were on a recruiting trip this summer talking about different ways to bring attention to the Eagles' program and set themselves apart.

They joked about donning loud clothing like golfer John Daly's. On a whim, Hodges sent an e-mail message to Daly's PGA Tour clothing sponsor, LoudMouth Golf, and told the company their idea.

"I was never expecting to get anything back," said Hodges, 28. "Within two minutes, President Larry Jackson called me."

They told Hodges that if the coaches were willing to wear their line, LoudMouth was willing to supply them with their odd brand of haute couture.

That's how Hodges ended up on the cover of the Eagles' media guide wearing a sport coat that looks as though it's made of jockey silks.

It's how he ended up on the sideline in Memorial Coliseum for Friday's season opener against Kentucky wearing LoudMouth's Blue and Gold Mega Sport Coat and matching pants.

White also wore the coat, but with black pants. The two female assistants wore matching pants with navy shirts.

"I thought it was like the halftime performance or something," UK sophomore A'dia Mathies said. "Then I realized it was their coach. "

Hodges laughs it off.

"It's a little bit outside my comfort zone, but anything that gets Morehead State in the headlines and puts our great university front and center, I'm all for it," he said.

It's actually a lot outside Hodges' comfort zone, he confessed.

"I couldn't be any more conservative," he said of his previous sideline attire as an assistant coach.

Not only does Hodges' new wardrobe have multicolored sport coats, but it also includes at least 15 pairs of pants that he calls the "wildest, craziest things you ever have seen."

Recruit crosses UK off list

One of the top recruits on Kentucky's wish list has crossed the Cats off of her final list. Betnijah Laney, a 6-foot wing player from Delaware, informed the UK staff that she won't be going there.

The 11th-best player in the nation, according to ESPN's, probably will choose between Duke and Oklahoma and will sign early next week, said James Kiger, her Smyrna High School coach, by e-mail.

Kiger said it "was a tough call for her since (UK) did such a great job recruiting her and she developed a close relationship with them."

Snowden being evaluated

With five minutes to go in the first half, junior guard Keyla Snowden was in a scrum for a loose ball and went out the rest of the game with a knee injury.

UK Coach Matthew Mitchell said he's optimistic it's not a second torn anterior cruciate ligament for the former Lexington Catholic star.

"It is a little too early to tell," he said. "It doesn't look terrible, but we don't really know. We will just have to wait until tomorrow. ... We are feeling OK about it right now, but we just don't know yet."

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