The Times West Virginian

Sports

May 17, 2013

FURFARI COLUMN: Crutchfield ‘miracle man’ at West Liberty

MORGANTOWN — Jim Crutchfield, who learned the value of “aggressive defense” in basketball as a player at the old Roosevelt-Wilson High School in Clarksburg, continues to parlay that play phase with others to lead the nation in scoring as well as achieve smashing success as an NCAA Division II head coach.

His West Liberty University basketball team posted a 34-2 record and averaged an amazing 103 points per game last season. That amazing average topped all of the country’s hoops teams in every college classification.

What’s more, West Liberty ranked No. 1 nationally in Division II at regular season’s end, and advanced to the NCAA Division II semifinals for the second time in three years.

Crutchfield, who at age 57 must be one of college basketball’s most honored coaches, led this year’s club to a fourth consecutive West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship as the Hilltoppers paced all Division II schools in scoring for the eighth time in nine years.

The Clarksburg native not only was named state college coach of the year by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association for a third straight time, but Basketball Times named him as National Division II Coach of the Year for the second time in three years.

Thanks to Doug Huff of Wheeling, the state leader of sports writers, this one had the honor and privilege to sit next to Crutchfield during the recent Victory Awards Dinner in Clarksburg. It was a most enjoyable evening for me.

He not only struck this old scribe as a great coach, but also as a class act and gentleman.

The West Liberty mentor’s career college coaching record is 244-45. It is the best, percentage-wise, among the nation’s basketball coaches at any level, according to Huff.

Crutchfield, who’s a non-athletics-playing graduate of West Virginia University in 1988, taught mathematics and coached basketball for 10 years at Cameron High School.

It was after that stint that he joined West Liberty as head tennis coach and assistant basketball coach. His tennis teams also were very successful, winning numerous conference titles.

Jim and his wife, Diana, also a Clarksburg native, have two grown daughters. They are Caroline and Allison.

Mrs. Crutchfield, who is a WVU graduate, serves as an attorney in a Moundsville law firm with state Senate President Jeff Kessler. She also teaches criminal justice classes at West Liberty University.

That school had only two 20-victory seasons in history before Crutchfield took over the reins, and he has guided the Hilltoppers to nine consecutive 20-win seasons including the last three of more than 30 wins.

His impact obviously has had an absolutely historic impact on that Wheeling-area university’s history.

1
Text Only
Sports
  • Simon, Bruce lead Reds past Bucs, 5-2

    Alfredo Simon pitched into the seventh inning despite erratic control, Jay Bruce drove in a run for a fifth consecutive game and the Cincinnati Reds beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 5-2 Wednesday night.
    Simon (3-1) worked 6 2-3 innings and allowed two runs on four hits and five walks while striking out four.

    April 24, 2014

  • Pens squander lead, fall to Columbus

    Brandon Dubinsky scored with 22.5 seconds left in regulation to force overtime and Nick Foligno’s wrist shot just inside the blue line 2:49 into the extra session gave the Columbus Blue Jackets a 4-3 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday night.

    April 24, 2014

  • FSHS #32, 29-BU #15-TS.jpg Cousins Sansalone, Craig lead Polar Bears past B-U: PHOTOS

    They say you don’t mess with family. Buckhannon-Upshur found that one out the hard way.

    April 23, 2014 7 Photos

  • Gabbi Mascaro Signing -md.jpg Mascaro signs with FSU

    Gabi Mascaro is staying in Fairmont.
    After considering several out-of-state colleges, the Fairmont Senior soccer standout signed her National Letter of Intent Tuesday to continue her career at Fairmont State University, an upstart program which will play its first games in 2015.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • HERTZEL COLUMN- WVU faithful again have a reason to root against Vick

    It would be one final indignation, that’s what it would be if Michael Vick were to beat out Geno Smith and win the starting quarterback job with the New York Jets.

    April 23, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN- West Liberty’s Crutchfield not interested in Division I

    You would think Jim Crutchfield would be a great candidate for a head basketball coaching job at an NCAA Division I university.

    April 23, 2014

  • Volquez outdueled; Pirates fall to Reds, 4-1

    Edinson Volquez spent four years watching Johnny Cueto evolve into one of the National League’s best pitchers when the two were teammates in Cincinnati from 2008-11.

    April 23, 2014

  • MLB suspends four from Pirates-Brewers brawl

    Major League Baseball has suspended four players involved in last Sunday’s brawl between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Milwaukee Brewers.

    April 23, 2014

  • EF # 5 BP #23 MW.JPG Slow start spoils Bees’ upset bid: PHOTOS

    Fresh off a fairly successful trip to Myrtle Beach, the East Fairmont baseball team was looking to gain some respect in its own state by toppling No. 4 Bridgeport on the road. Instead, the Bees came home with an 8-3 loss after a slow start spoiled their upset bid.

    April 22, 2014 6 Photos

  • Calhoun, FSU land two signees

    Fairmont State coach Jerrod Calhoun is adding the finishing touches to this year’s signing class.

    April 22, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Sports
House Ads
NCAA Breaking News
NCAA Photos