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
  • WVU #6 SHORTS -TS.jpg WVU opens practice with different feel: VIDEOS AND PHOTOS

    West Virginia University football coach Dana Holgorsen was happy with his team’s first practice of the 2014 season.
    Of course, he would note, “Everybody in the country has a good first day.”
    But somehow, this was different.
    Very different.

    August 1, 2014 9 Photos

  • Post 17 #18-Post 29 catche copy.jpg Post 17 picks up much-needed win over Elkins

    After a rather sloppy Area tournament, Post 17 Fairmont managed to turn things around Thursday afternoon at Hawley Field in Morgantown, staying alive with a 4-2 win over Elkins in the American Legion state baseball tournament.
    While it’s usually hitting that gets Fairmont by, Thursday it was the pitching and the defense.

    August 1, 2014 5 Photos

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Social media adds another thing to watch for coaches

    As someone who has gotten himself in enough hot water with a misplaced Tweet, when West Virginia University quarterback Clint Trickett hit the send button on July 17 sending out to the cyberworld what should have remained there with him on the couch on which he was sitting, I could feel his pain.

    August 1, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Bobby Bowden won the bad-and-good battle with rival Lou Holtz

    The recent announcement that West Virginia University is resuming a football relationship with North Carolina State triggered a most memorable bad-news, good-news battle.
    It was between two legendary coaches, WVU’s Bobby Bowden and N.C. State’s Lou Holtz back there in the 1970s.

    August 1, 2014

  • WVU basketball non-conference schedule released

    After playing challenging schedules along with the tough Big 12 road, West Virginia University has backed off some this season on its non-conference schedule that was released Thursday.
    West Virginia is coming off a 17-16 season in which it failed to reach the NCAA Tournament and lost to Georgetown in the first round of the NIT.

    August 1, 2014

  • Steelers WR Antonio Brown aims for repeat of 2013

    Antonio Brown rolled up to the dorms at Saint Vincent College last week in a Mercedes conversion van.
    It’s fitting in a way. Five years into a blossoming career, the Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver is playing the role of dad — OK, maybe slightly older brother — to a group long on talent but short on experience.

    August 1, 2014

  • Mountaineers open practice with different feel

    West Virginia football coach Dana Holgorsen was happy with his team’s first practice of the 2014 season.

    July 31, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Social media adds another thing to watch for coaches

    As someone who has gotten himself in enough hot water with a misplaced Tweet, when West Virginia quarterback Clint Trickett hit the send button on July 17 sending out to the cyberworld that should have remained there with him on the couch on which he was sitting, I could feel his pain.

    July 31, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Bobby Bowden won the bad-and-good battle with rival Lou Holtz

    The recent announcement that West Virginia University is resuming a football relationship with North Carolina State triggered a most memorable bad-news, good-news battle.

    July 31, 2014

  • Post 17 stays alive in American Legion state tournament

    After a rather sloppy Area tournament, Post 17 Fairmont managed to turn things around Thursday afternoon at Hawley Filed in Morgantown, staying alive with a 4-2 win over Elkins in the American Legion state baseball tournament.

    July 31, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Sports
House Ads
Auto Racing Breaking News
Auto Racing Standings