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
  • Bussie looks forward to WNBA

    On Tuesday, the weather turned cold, the wind blew and amongst the raindrops that fell a few snowflakes fluttered quietly to Earth.
    It was as if it was a celebration of Asya Bussie being drafted on Monday night by the Minnesota Lynx, champions of the WNBA, with the third selection of the second round, the 15th overall pick of the draft.

    April 16, 2014

  • WVU’s Harlee named Big 12 Scholar-Athlete

    The Big 12 Conference announced its Scholar-Athlete of the Year recipients for the 2014 winter sport season, and West Virginia University senior Jess Harlee earns the honor for women’s basketball.
    Harlee was selected as the award winner based on a vote of each respective sport’s head coaching group, with coaches not permitted to vote for their own student-athletes.

    April 16, 2014

  • Gyorko, Padres agree to extension

    Jedd Gyorko, who hasn’t hit much of anything with a .178 start on this season, hit the jackpot on Monday, signing a six-year contract extension with the San Diego Padres for $35 million with a one-year club option at $13 million.

    April 15, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN- Spring game showed defense has improved

    From Dana Holgorsen’s viewpoint, which was standing right behind the offense, West Virginia’s Gold-Blue Spring Game on Saturday was a rousing success for it showed very little of what the Mountaineers will be in this coming season, probably not even showcasing the man who will direct the offense in the quarterback position.

    April 15, 2014

  • WVU signs guard; Adrian arrested for DUI

    There was something good and something bad for West Virginia men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins this past weekend as Kansas junior college player Tarik Phillip committed to play for the Mountaineers but rising sophomore Nathan Adrian was charged with Under 21 DUI after he was stopped at 1:20 a.m. Sunday for an expired registration sticker.

    April 15, 2014

  • FURFARI COLUMN- Most plays good, some not so good in Gold-Blue scrimmage

    There appeared to be a fine mixture of plays, most good with some not so good, in last Saturday’s West Virginia University’s Gold-Blue football scrimmage.

    April 15, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN- Garrison still proving he can carry the ball

    The running back raves from the West Virginia coaching this spring have been directly mostly toward Wendell Smallwood, and rest assured he earned every one of them with his versatility, but it was a reborn running back who well may have taken the biggest jump up the depth chart.

    April 14, 2014

  • WVU baseball drops seventh straight game

    One’s athletic skills are tested on a daily basis but every so often other aspects of an athlete’s makeup are tested, often far more important aspects in the game of life.

    April 14, 2014

  • Gold-Blue Game answers few questions at quarterback

    Dana Holgorsen finds himself in a quarterback quandary.
    He’s looking to have one quarterback and has five of them as spring practice ends, and nothing about the spring session has done anything to straighten out the situation.

    April 13, 2014

  • Moore ‘back at home’ under center

    There are a couple of ways to look at what Logan Moore did this spring after being moved back to quarterback and given a chance to compete for what is a wide open job, as wide open at the end of the spring as it was coming in.
    The first is to say that he didn’t wow Dana Holgorsen to the point that he’s willing to say he’s the leader going into summer drills, but that would be shortsighted considering from where Moore came.

    April 13, 2014

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