AUSTIN, Texas – McMurry University track and field head coach Barbara Crousen will be inducted into the Texas Girls Coaches Association Hall of Fame as a part of its Class of 2012, it has been announced. The enshrinement ceremonies will take place on Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at the Hilton Hotel in Arlington.
Tickets for the event may be purchase through the TGCA web site at: www.austintgca.com
Crousen is being recognized for a lifetime of achievements and contributions at both the high school and collegiate levels.
“This is a tremendous and well-deserved honor for Barb,” McM director of athletics Ron Holmes said. “She has not only built a juggernaut track program at McMurry, but also serves our entire department in numerous ways behind the scenes. All of the awards and honors and stats that she has piled up – and there are a lot of them – pale in comparison to the multitude of lives she has touched by her compassionate and caring example to young people.”
Crousen just led the War Hawks’ men’s team to the 2012 NCAA III Outdoor National Championship, the second in school history and both under her guidance. She will go down in McMurry history as the first head coach to lead a team of any kind to a national championship after guiding McM’s men to the NCAA III Outdoor National Championship in 2008, giving the school its first national title of any kind since it began intercollegiate athletics competition in 1923.
Crousen also holds the distinction of being the first-ever woman to coach a men’s team to an NCAA national championship in any sport at any level.
Since taking over the program in the summer of 1998, Crousen has helped McMurry become a consistent track power in the south region and nationally.
Since her first season in 1999, Crousen led the men’s team to 14-consecutive American Southwest Conference titles (1999-2012). The McM women’s team won 10 ASC championships (1999-2004, 2006-2009) under Crousen’s guidance.
During that time, Crousen was named the ASC’s men’s Coach of the Year all 14 seasons and was named the women’s ASC Coach of the Year 10 times.
In 2012, Crousen was named the men’s NCAA III South/Southeast Region Coach of the Year marking the ninth time she has earned that honor.
In 2007 and 2008, she coached the men’s sprint relay team to two consecutive national titles as Hann Ollison, Bert Green, John Mikalik and Chris Kelley repeated as champs.
Crousen earned the nation’s highest honor in 2001 when she was named NCAA Division III National Coach of the Year. The women’s program finished fourth overall at the national outdoor meet in 2001 and followed in 2002 as the national runner up.
184 all-America honors have been passed out to McMurry athletes since Crousen’s tenure began in 1999, including 20 in 2011. 20 have earned academic all-America honors and she’s coached 32 national champions between indoor and outdoor competitions. She also coached the South Region Athlete of the Year 15 times including four-time winner Hann Ollison (2006-09) and two-time recipient Kevin Cunningham (2011 & 2012).
Among Crousen’s impressive career accomplishments are more than 200 conference champions, better than 200 additional all-conference finishers and 100-plus academic all-conference honorees.
Darcell Edwards, who may be the most prolific female athlete to compete in McMurry’s track and field program, won six individual national championships under Crousen. Edwards still holds the NCAA Division III outdoor record for the triple jump with a mark of 44 feet and two inches that she set in 2004. Edwards also qualified for the 2004 Olympic Trials in the triple jump.
Brad Parris, who is now Crousen’s assistant, set the NCAA Division III record in the outdoor pole vault with a jump of 17 feet and nine inches in 2000. Parris’ record fell in 2002.
A renowned clinician throughout the Lone Star state and well respected by her peers, Crousen is USA Track and Field Level I certified in the sport, certified in USA TF Level II for sprints and hurdles and a USATF Level I Lead Instructor.
She has been published in the Texas High School Coaches Association Magazine and has produced four track-related videos detailing tips on coaching and improving athletes’ performance. She has had five athletes attend the USA Junior Elite Olympics Training Camp in Colorado Springs, Colo., and San Diego, Calif.
Before coming to McMurry, Crousen worked in the Texas public school system for 32 years including a stint as Cooper High School’s head track and cross country coach in Abilene. She also worked in the El Paso, Deer Park and Pasadena districts.
While working in the public school system, Crousen rolled up some impressive accolades, as well. She was the 1990 TGCA All-Star Coach and served as the TGCA’s president in 1993. In 1995, she was the Abilene ISD Physical Educator of the Year and the TGCA track Coach of the Year.
Crousen was the National Federation State Director in 1996-97 and National Federation Track Coach of the Year in 1998. She has had five athletes attend the USA Junior Elite Olympic Training Center. In 2005, she was name a TGCA Honor Coach.
In addition to her coaching duties at McMurry, Crousen also serves McMurry as the senior woman’s administrator for athletics as the school moves from NCAA III to NCAA Division II beginning in the Fall of 2012. Crousen also sits on the NCAA Division III Track and Field national committee.
“This is exciting and- at the same time – very humbling,” Crousen said of her election. “It’s exciting in the sense that it reminds me of the many, many great young people I’ve had the privilege to teach and coach over the years. Honors like these are shared with each and every one of them.
“At the same time, it is humbling to be honored like this by your peers. None of us sets out to receive awards; we do what we do for the love of the sport and to enrich the lives of young people. Helping someone transition from child to adult through athletics, that is the real reward!”
Crousen’s husband, Joe, was the head football coach at McMurry for the 2005 and 2006 seasons and was inducted to the Big Country Athletic Hall Fame in May of 2012. The couple has three children (Kevin, Kerri and Tamra), seven grandchildren (Cooper, Claire, Carson, Foster, Stealey, Levi and Ruby).