Just a year after he was named a volunteer coach at Austin Peay, Hoptown Hoppers head coach and former Christian County coach Grayson Crawford was named the pitching coach Monday for the Governors.
After his time down south, Crawford was away from the game he loved for a short time, but he's definitely back in a big way now.
"This was something that I was hoping would matriculate again from where I was," he said. "Ultimately when I decided to go back to Austin Peay after Louisiana-Monroe, I think the biggest thing was I wanted a clean start and kind of start over.
"Coach (Travis) Janssen was gracious enough to let me join his staff. I honestly didn't know if it would be here or somewhere else but I felt like if I could get back in the game then I'd get a chance to land on my feet again."
While Crawford isn't from Christian County, his wife Lee is and the job in Clarksville proved to be too important to pass up as he'll be close to family during his time at Austin Peay.
"It was definitely a big part of it," he said of the job's proximity to Christian County. "It gave my family some comfort and it definitely was a place that I've had on my radar for a really long time for a place that I was interested in coaching at. Now I was fortunate enough to be able to do what I enjoy but also be able to keep our family in a place where everyone's comfortable and everyone's happy."
Crawford's first coaching job came in 2010 as an assistant at Stillman College, his alma mater. Now, nine years later, he's made several stops and even more friends.
"It's been very busy, that's probably the best way to put it," he said. "I think that it's a lot of hard work. It's a lot of delayed success is probably the easiest way to put it. But it's also been very fun and very rewarding.
See Crawford/Page B3
I've been able to work for some really good head coaches who've been super loyal to me and I've learned a lot of baseball. I kind of grew up in a coaching family so I understood what it took but now I've got of gotten to go through it myself.
"Ultimately I don't think it's over. I don't think this is probably the end role or spot for me. I time will ultimately tell what happens next but so far in nine years, it's definitely been a roller coaster but with a lot of success both on the field and off."
The Govs lost 62 percent of their innings from last year's staff, something Crawford is going to have to work on immediately. He said the development of the new staff and the networking are two things he's looking forward to the most.
"It's a brand new pitching staff," he said. "It's obviously a brand new year for me. When I took over the pitching staff last season, 13 or 14 games into the season, it was an old pitching staff, very veteran heavy, very knowledge. It was kind of a shepherd more than a coach. This year it will be completely different."