The Times West Virginian

WVU 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
WVU Sports
  • HERTZEL COLUMN: O’Toole joins long list of eccentric WVU kickers, punters

    The star of the Big 12’s annual football media day wasn’t a star at all.
    He intrigued the media far more than Bob Stoops, the coach of preseason favorite Oklahoma, and more than Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty, the preseason player of the year.

    July 25, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Five major sports topics of interest to area fans

    Tom Hart, a widely known retired Morgantown High School administrator and coach, continues to excel as one of the nation’s top bowlers.
    However, he told me he faces knee-replacement surgery. So he’s going to find it necessary to give up bowling during a period of rehab. Hart has competed in an amazing total of 45 U.S. Bowling Congress tournaments during his outstanding career.

    July 25, 2014

  • LINDLEY COLUMN: Better police needed for college teams enticed to cheat

    Cheating has been part of college athletics probably for as long as people have bothered to keep score.

    July 24, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: O’Toole joins long list of eccentric WVU kickers, punters

    The star of the Big 12’s annual football media day wasn’t a star at all.

    July 24, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN: Five major sports topics of interest to area fans

    Tom Hart, a widely known retired Morgantown High School administrator and coach, continues to excel as one of the nation’s top bowlers.

    July 24, 2014

  • WVU, N.C. State to meet in football

    Following a trend of creating non-conference games against regional opponents, West Virginia University has reached agreement with North Carolina State to play a home-and-home football series in 2018 and 2019.
    The Mountaineers are scheduled to play N.C. State in Raleigh on Sept. 15, 2018, and then play host to the Wolfpack on Sept. 14, 2019.

    July 24, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: ‘Cheating pays’ remark should draw attention

    When Bob Bowlsby, the outspoken commissioner of the Big 12, presented his opening-day picture of the future of college sports in Dallas for the annual media day gathering, his bleak comments were not unexpected.

    July 24, 2014

  • ‘Cheating pays’ remark should draw attention

    When Bob Bowlsby, the outspoken commissioner of the Big 12, presented his opening-day picture of the future of college sports in Dallas for the annual media day gathering, his bleak comments were not unexpected.

    July 23, 2014

  • WVU, N.C. State to meet in football

    Following a trend of creating non-conference games against regional opponents, West Virginia University has reached agreement with North Carolina State to play a home-and-home football series in 2018 and 2019.

    July 23, 2014

  • WVU, Tennessee finalize 2018 meeting

    West Virginia University and Tennessee have finalized their season-opening, Sept. 1, 2018, meeting in Charlotte, N.C., at Bank of America Stadium.
    Both teams will receive $2.5 million for the game and have a chance to earn up to $3.2 million with ticket incentives.
    Each team will buy 12,500 tickets and set aside 2,000 of its allotment for students.
    The game, played on the home field of the Carolina Panthers of the NFL, is being put on by the Charlotte Sports Federation.

    July 23, 2014

Featured Ads
WVU Sports Highlights
NDN Sports
House Ads
NCAA Breaking News
NCAA Photos