Longtime Linsly Coach Darryl Crews Dies at 70
WHEELING — Monday was a tragic day for all of those associated with Linsly as they learned of the passing of longtime Cadets coach Darryl Crews at the age of 70.
Before retiring in the spring of 2020, Crews spent 21 years coaching five different sports for the Cadets, which included girls’ soccer, boys’ soccer, softball, wrestling and hockey.
While he did love sports, it was the kids that meant the most to Crews.
In fact, in 1999 he even began teaching history at Linsly.
“He started the same year I did at Linsly but he was a veteran and I was just a kid out of college,” Linsly athletic director and football coach B.J. Depew said. “He was a history teacher and coached year-round and always wanted to help and be around the kids. He didn’t like it when he wasn’t coaching.”
The feeling was mutual both on the field and in the classroom as the students had great respect for Crews, who helped them grow as athletes and as young adults.
“He was a competitor and had a way about him that helped raise the level of achievement because of his high expectations of them,” Linsly Headmaster Justin Zimmerman said. “The same was true in the classroom. He set high expectations and helped the kids succeed and the kids respected him for that. They enjoyed being around him and learning from him. It’s impossible to replace a person like Darryl Crews. He just had a way about him.”
It wasn’t just the kids who looked up to Crews, it was his peers. Everyone around him was affected in a positive way every time they came in contact with him and he will be missed by all.
“This community is grieving because he had such an impact on so many people,” Zimmerman said. “He touched everyone just by being who he was on a daily basis. His wit and personality were amazing and he wasn’t afraid to have hard conversations either. He spoke with a calm and humble demeanor, which is why I think it was so easy for everyone to respect him.
“He was very approachable and he was always there to offer support and encouragement to the students. He was also a terrific mentor to teachers and he genuinely enjoyed and looked for every opportunity to mentor kids. He was a great guy and is going to be missed.”
“Coach Crews was so many things to so many people,” he said. “More than anything else, he was a good person. He lived a life of service and loved the students he taught and coached. He was a friend to everyone who worked with him. Many of us feel a personal loss with Darryl’s passing. His combination of toughness and compassion embodied the spirit of what Linsly strives to provide for all our students.”
In the classroom, Crews shined and made learning fun for all who attended his class.
“He brought history to life in the classroom,” Zimmerman said. “He would often dress up as historical figures to connect with his students. Just walking into his colorful classroom, you could feel his energy and enthusiasm for teaching.”
Crews’ family was the love of his life — his wife Judy and three sons Nathan, Christopher and Micah.
“Mr. Crews was a man of strong faith who loved his wife, Judy, and their children and grandchildren,” Zimmerman said. “Our hearts are with the Crews family during this difficult time.”
Along with Zimmerman and Depew, the entire Linsly community, former athletes and students and everyone who knew him from the Ohio Valley have taken to social media to share their thoughts, prayers and memories for the school and the Crews family.