Crutchfield Could Earn More Honors

BOSTON, Mass. – West Liberty University head basketball coach Jim Crutchfield, already honored as the Basketball Times NCAA Division II National Coach of the Year, is a finalist for two more national awards.

The Hilltopper court boss is one of 10 finalists for the second annual John McLendon National Coach of the Year Award, presented annually to the top collegiate head coach encompassing all levels of collegiate basketball (NCAA Divisions I, II and III; NAIA Divisions I and II and Junior College).

Crutchfield is also one of 15 finalists for the Clarence “Big House” Gaines National Coach of the Year Award, which is presented annually to the nation’s top NCAA Division II basketball coach. This is the third consecutive season that Crutchfield has been chosen as a finalist for the Clarence “Big House” Gaines Award.

Both sets of finalists were revealed on Tuesday by the website.

Crutchfield, who leads all active NCAA coaches in winning percentage (241-45, .843), is coming off his third consecutive 30-win season and NCAA Division II Elite Eight berth.

He led the Hilltoppers to a school-record 34 victories as West Liberty claimed its seventh national scoring title in the past eight seasons, becoming only the second NCAA Division II squad in history to average more than 100 points a game in four consecutive seasons.

Crutchfield’s Hilltoppers were a unanimous No. 1 pick in the NABC’s final national coaches’ Top 25 for the second time in the past three seasons after rolling to their fourth consecutive West Virginia Conference championship. West Liberty won an unprecedented third consecutive NCAA Division II Atlantic Region title in record-setting fashion, winning its first two regional tournament games by scores of 114-82 and 100-77 before dismantling No. 10-ranked Indiana, Pa., 86-63, in the regional final.

In addition to the Basketball Times National Coach of the Year citation, Crutchfield also collected his third consecutive NABC Atlantic District Coach of the Year Award last month and was named WVIAC Coach of the Year for a record fifth time.

The 2013 John McLendon and Clarence Gaines Award winners will be announced on Sunday at the annual Awards Banquet in Atlanta, site of this year’s NCAA Division I, II and III national championship games.