Work, Dedication Pay Off at WLU

When Coach Jim Crutchfield and his West Liberty University Hilltoppers begin Elite 8 basketball tournament play Wednesday, they will be in familiar territory: This is the team’s fourth consecutive trip to the Elite 8.

No other NCAA Division II team has accomplished that. But setting records is nothing new for Crutchfield, either.

During his 10 years as West Liberty’s head basketball coach, Crutchfield and his team have become veritable collectors of records and honors. His peers, along with news media sports writers, have made it clear they believe Crutchfield is one of the best they’ve seen.

But here’s the thing: It didn’t happen overnight. Far from it. When Crutchfield began teaching at West Liberty, he coached tennis – not basketball. Eventually, because he loved the game, he managed to get involved as the team’s third assistant coach.

Once he took the helm, the Hilltoppers took off. The team’s past decade has been an incredible series of exciting achievements.

Clearly, in addition to his ability as a basketball coach, Crutchfield has imparted his philosophy of dedication and hard work to his players. They have found it works – very well.

So congratulations to the Hilltoppers for another great season – and good luck in the Elite 8.