Help Is On The Way

Crutch­field tabbed Hogs as­so­ciate head coach

The Saline Courier Weekend - - SPORTS - Spe­cial to The Saline Courier

FAYET­TEVILLE — Chris Crutch­field, who spent the past eight seasons as as­so­ciate head coach at Ok­la­homa, has been hired in the same po­si­tion at the Univer­sity of Ar­kan­sas, Ra­zor­back head coach Eric Mus­sel­man an­nounced to­day.

“We’re ex­cited to have Coach Crutch­field on staff,” Mus­sel­man said. “He’s one of the best re­cruiters and coaches in the coun­try as proven by the Soon­ers be­ing a main­stay in the NCAA Tour­na­ment. He has worked for an all-time great coach in Lon Kruger. Coach Crutch­field and Coach (Corey) Wil­liams will make a great team at the Univer­sity of Ar­kan­sas.”

Crutch­field has over 20 years of ex­pe­ri­ence in the pro­fes­sion in­clud­ing two years as a head coach at Tyler (Texas) Ju­nior Col­lege. This past Novem­ber, Theath­letic. com named him to its list of 30 up-and-com­ing coaches to keep an eye on.

At Ok­la­homa, Crutch­field helped the Soon­ers compile a 160-105 (.604) over­all record and ad­vanced to the NCAA Tour­na­ment in six of the past seven seasons, in­clud­ing a Fi­nal Four berth in 2016. That year, the Soon­ers racked up 29 vic­to­ries, which tied for six­th­most in pro­gram his­tory.

On the re­cruit­ing trail at Ok­la­homa, Crutch­field was in­stru­men­tal in the sign­ing and sub­se­quent men­tor­ing of Buddy Hield and Trae Young. In his four years at Ok­la­homa, Hield was twice named the Big 12 Player of the Year (2015, 2016) and was crowned the 2016 na­tional Player of the

Year by four en­ti­ties (John R. Wooden Award, the Nai­smith Award, Sport­ing News Player of the Year and the Os­car Robert­son Tro­phy). Hield would go on to be the sixth over­all pick in the 2016 NBA Draft.

Young, the first five-star player to join the Soon­ers dur­ing the Kruger ten­ure, was a con­sen­sus All-american, Wooden Award fi­nal­ist and 2018 Way­man Tis­dale Fresh­man of the Year.

Prior to Ok­la­homa, Crutch­field helped Oral

Roberts to an av­er­age of 20 wins over his last four years at the school and to post­sea­son ap­pear­ances in 2008 (NCAA Tour­na­ment) and

2011 (Col­legein­ Tour­na­ment). The Golden Ea­gles fin­ished the top three in the Sum­mit League each year, in­clud­ing first in 2008, sec­ond in both 2009 and ‘11 and third in 2010.

Prior to his stint at ORU, Crutch­field served on TCU’S staff for two seasons. He was the Horned Frogs’ direc­tor of bas­ket­ball op­er­a­tions for the 2005-06 sea­son be­fore be­ing named as­sis­tant coach for the 2006-07 cam­paign. He was also an as­sis­tant for four seasons at New Mex­ico State (2001-05) un­der NMSU all-time wins leader Lou Hen­son, help­ing the Ag­gies to two 20-win cam­paigns as well as a Sun Belt Con­fer­ence ti­tle in 2002.

Crutch­field also has head coach­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. He served two seasons (1999-2001) at Tyler (Texas) Ju­nior Col­lege as head coach after spend­ing the pre­vi­ous two years as an Apaches’ as­sis­tant coach. As head coach, he led Tyler to a 35-28 record and saw his players grad­u­ate at a 91 per­cent rate.

Be­fore his stop at Tyler, Crutch­field spent the 1996-97 sea­son an as­sis­tant coach at Texas-san An­to­nio. He be­gan his full-time coach­ing ca­reer dur­ing the 1995-96 sea­son at his alma mater, Ne­braskaom­aha, after serv­ing the pre­vi­ous two seasons there as a grad­u­ate as­sis­tant.

Crutch­field, orig­i­nally from Hop­kinsville, Ky., grad­u­ated from Ne­braska-omaha in 1992 with a de­gree in crim­i­nal jus­tice and earned his mas­ter’s in health, phys­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion and ad­min­is­tra­tion four years later from the same school. He and his wife Jodi are the par­ents of three sons: Derrick, Jalen and Josh.

Spe­cial to The Saline Courier

Former Ok­la­homa coach Chris Crutch­field will be on the Ar­kan­sas side­lines next sea­son after be­ing named as­so­ciate head coach Friday.

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