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McMurry Track Coach Barbara Crousen to be Inducted Into Big Country Hall of Fame


The Big Country Athletic Hall of Fame has just released the names of its 2013 inductees and McMurry University head track and field coach Barbara Crousen is one of this year’s inductees.

Crousen holds the distinction of being the first-ever female – in any sport and at any level – to coach a men’s team to an NCAA national championship.

Most recently, Crousen 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.

Since taking over the program in the summer of 1998, Crousen has helped McMurry become a consistent track power in the region and nationally.

Since her first season in 1999, Crousen led the men’s team to 14-consecutive American Southwest Conference titles (1999-2012), exiting the conference in 2012 having never surrendered the men’s championship trophy. 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 received the nation’s highest honor for the second time when she was named as the Men’s National Coach of the Year for NCAA Division III. She was also named the men’s NCAA III South/Southeast Region Coach of the Year, marking the ninth time she has earned that honor.

Crousen earned NCAA Division III Women’s National Coach of the Year in 2001, as well. 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.

Prior to joining the McM staff, Crousen spent 32 years coaching high school track. During her time at Cooper, she served as president of the Texas Girls Coaches Association in 1993. In 1995 she was named the Texas Girls Coaches Association track coach of the year and the Abilene Independent School District physical education instructor of the year.

Crousen was recognized for a lifetime of achievements and contributions at both the high school and collegiate levels, when she was inducted into the Texas Girls Coaches Association Hall of Fame as a part of its Class of 2012.

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 sat on the NCAA Division III Track and Field national committee until the schools transition upward.

She also becomes the first husband-wife combination to be inducted into the Big Country Athletic Hall of Fame. Last year, her husband, the late Joe Crousen who was a member of state championship football team at Breckenridge in 1958 and a long-time high school and college football coach, was inducted into the hall of fame.

Also selected to this year’s class are former Abilene High and Texas Tech track star Jonathan Johnson, Snyder and University of Texas all-American football player Tony DeGrate, former Brownwood and University of Texas all-American pitcher Jerry Don Gleaton, former Breckenridge and University of Oklahoma running back Jakie Sandefer, and former Abilene Cooper and current McMurry track coach Barbara Crousen.

Former Abilene High baseball player Jim Mallon, who won more than 1,000 games as the baseball coach at Southwestern University, will be inducted posthumously. Also going into the Hall of Fame will be Abilene veterinarian Dr. Lynn Lawhon, who will receive the Lifetime Achievement for Officiating, and former Abilene High basketball stars Richard, David and Mike Little, who will receive the Legacy Award from the Hall of Fame.

The 12th annual Big Country Athletic Hall of Fame induction banquet will be held May 6 at 6:30 p.m. at the Abilene Civic Center.