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ABILENE, Texas – The McMurry University family was saddened to learn of the loss of one of its members, with the passing of former football coach Joe Crousen on Friday morning. Crousen was the husband of McM’s current head track and field coach Barbara Crousen.

Joe Crousen was 71.

He was inducted into the Big Country Hall of Fame in its Class of 2012 just this past May. Crousen joined the McMurry football staff as a defensive coordinator under then-head coach Steve Keenum and, upon Keenum’s departure, took over the head coaching reins for the 2005 and 2006 seasons.

His first head-coaching job was at Athens (guiding the Hornets to a the 1971 district championship title) followed by a stint as head coach at Carrollton Turner, leading the Lions to their only 10-0 season in 1977. Crousen was reunited with his former prep coach, Emory Bellard, joining the staff at Mississippi State as an offensive line coach and kicking coordinator in 1978.

Crousen guided Ranger Junior College’s program for seven seasons. He then became the defensive coordinator at Cooper High School and helped the Cougars reach the 1996 state finals.

As for his own playing career, Crousen earned all-state honors at guard and linebacker on Breckenridge High School’s 1958 Class 3A state champs. He went on to play his college football at Sul Ross State.

“Joe’s passing is truly a deep loss for all of us here at McMurry,” McM Director of Athletics Ron Holmes said. “Even beyond his time as a coach here, Joe was a friend and supporter to all of the War Hawk teams. And there was no bigger advocate and booster for Barbara’s incredible success with the track and field program than Joe.

“Both directly – and indirectly – Joe Crousen touched a lot of lives and left this world a better place for what he contributed to it.”

Joe and Barbara had three children (Kevin, Kerri and Tamra) and seven grandchildren (Cooper, Claire, Carson, Foster, Stealey, Levi and Ruby).

The funeral service will be at the River of Life Church at 10 a.m. on Monday, July 30 with a lunch following at the church. The graveside service will be held at Woodson Cemetary at 4 p.m. on Monday.