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Jim Crews coaching 1st graders

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8 hours ago, philliken said:

Honestly, I wish everyone would take it easy on Crews.  I've always felt we owe him a 'thank you' instead of the treatment we give.  No, he was obviously not even close to the best thing for this team; but let's remember, he came here as a favor.

He was happily retired when Rickma reached out (they were friends mind you) asking him to unretire to be an assistant coach.  If memory serves me correct, he told Rickma 'no thanks'; and only after a second phone call asking for his help, did he agree.

Then, after Rick departed this world too early, I think he took over out of obligation for his school and his friend.  Things went down from there.  I don't fault the guy.  Majerus wanted him, that was good enough for me.  Even if those tournament teams he led were 'self-managed', he still had to keep them together and gelling.

Oh and let's not forget, he was voted National Coach of the Year.  Crews is gone, let time heal this wound and move on.  Again, my personal opinion.  You're entitled to yours whether we agree or not.

F giving him a thank you. He stole almost 4 million dollars.

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3 hours ago, billikenfan05 said:

Jim crews killed the Billiken basketball program by hiring platt 

Platt was just an extension of Crews

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No one's attacking his character. He retired from hoops after some disturbing Bobby Knight type behavior at Army. Rick hired him on a personal level to be a 1 year fill in AC. A favor, if you will. Why RM would recommend he take over as HC while he's on his death bed in LA is a mystery to this day. Crews just never filled the role of HC, however. He took over a conference championship NCAA team and never built the program on that strength. I think he got lazy in addition to being out of touch w/ today's players. Yeah, he's a good man with solid values, but he's a lousy head coach. 

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As far as RM's mental status when he recommended Crews to take over for him, it can be said that people that are dying do not exhibit great judgement all the time. Anyway you look at it Crews was a decent man with a marked inability to recruit and at best a mediocre HC. He probably never realized how poor his recruitment ability was. Water under the bridge. In Ford we trust.

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10 minutes ago, Old guy said:

As far as RM's mental status when he recommended Crews to take over for him, it can be said that people that are dying do not exhibit great judgement all the time. Anyway you look at it Crews was a decent man with a marked inability to recruit and at best a mediocre HC. He probably never realized how poor his recruitment ability was. Water under the bridge. In Ford we trust.

“He probably never realized how poor his recruitment ability was.” nails it. Although surely he realized too late just how bad it was...I believe Ford immediately said what he inherited was not exactly the most athletic team...

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19 hours ago, DirtyRican said:

I coached 3rd grade last season, moving up to 4th this fall....pretty pumped.

I coached 7th and 8th graders who were in the Juvenile Detention Center.

Those games were over as soon as the other team saw us rolling up in “Department of Corrections” vans.

Intimidation is the key to winning youth basketball.

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54 minutes ago, dlarry said:

I coached 7th and 8th graders who were in the Juvenile Detention Center.

Those games were over as soon as the other team saw us rolling up in “Department of Corrections” vans.

Intimidation is the key to winning youth basketball.

Billiken Junkyard Dawgs bringing bully ball to an A10 gym near you 

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I know it is accepted that RM recommended Crews to take over - is this really true or just an urban legend.  When RM hired him Crews refused to recruit so all he had to do was go see the local players - no travel or lead recruiter responsibilities that year.  What I never understood was when he did not want to recruit that first year that should have been a big red flag for rehiring him or promoting him.  He was not only a poor recruiter but I would think he was not a good judge of talent either.  Those two factors are a killer for a program. I am sure he was a nice guy but he was wholly unfit for a head coaching job.

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Once more I agree with you cheeseman, being a nice guy does not make you a good coach.

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7 minutes ago, Old guy said:

Once more I agree with you cheeseman, being a nice guy does not make you a good coach.

i dont think over crews career he would be considered a "nice guy" necessarily.  

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51 minutes ago, cheeseman said:

I know it is accepted that RM recommended Crews to take over - is this really true or just an urban legend.  When RM hired him Crews refused to recruit so all he had to do was go see the local players - no travel or lead recruiter responsibilities that year.  What I never understood was when he did not want to recruit that first year that should have been a big red flag for rehiring him or promoting him.  He was not only a poor recruiter but I would think he was not a good judge of talent either.  Those two factors are a killer for a program. I am sure he was a nice guy but he was wholly unfit for a head coaching job.

I also question the story that RM recommended Crews. That may or may not be true but I don't remember seeing that at the time. Urban legends do get started on this board. 

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On 7/11/2019 at 11:59 AM, philliken said:

Honestly, I wish everyone would take it easy on Crews.  I've always felt we owe him a 'thank you' instead of the treatment we give.  No, he was obviously not even close to the best thing for this team; but let's remember, he came here as a favor.

He was happily retired when Rickma reached out (they were friends mind you) asking him to unretire to be an assistant coach.  If memory serves me correct, he told Rickma 'no thanks'; and only after a second phone call asking for his help, did he agree.

Then, after Rick departed this world too early, I think he took over out of obligation for his school and his friend.  Things went down from there.  I don't fault the guy.  Majerus wanted him, that was good enough for me.  Even if those tournament teams he led were 'self-managed', he still had to keep them together and gelling.

Oh and let's not forget, he was voted National Coach of the Year.  Crews is gone, let time heal this wound and move on.  Again, my personal opinion.  You're entitled to yours whether we agree or not.

I agree with everything you said.  My biggest problem with Crews is that the guy who was "happily retired" benefited big from the position he was put in when RickMa passed away.  He parlayed that into a big contract from the Billikens.  When it became clear that he was not cut out for the job of building his own team, the job for which he was ultimately hired and being paid handsomely, he could have returned to being "happily retired."  Instead, he made the Billikens fire him and, from what I understand, held the Athletic Department to honoring his full contract.

I don't fault Crews for his failure as a coach.  I do fault him for taking advantage of a situation and then milking us for a whole lot of money.  I realize that both  parties signed a contract, and that he was entitled to enforce that contract.  I just think he could have been a little more understanding of the situation that he and the Billikens were in when he signed his contract and worked out a deal to retire with a reasonable buyout.  If I'm wrong about any of these facts, let me know.

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4 minutes ago, cgeldmacher said:

I agree with everything you said.  My biggest problem with Crews is that the guy who was "happily retired" benefited big from the position he was put in when RickMa passed away.  He parlayed that into a big contract from the Billikens.  When it became clear that he was not cut out for the job of building his own team, the job for which he was ultimately hired and being paid handsomely, he could have returned to being "happily retired."  Instead, he made the Billikens fire him and, from what I understand, held the Athletic Department to honoring his full contract.

I don't fault Crews for his failure as a coach.  I do fault him for taking advantage of a situation and then milking us for a whole lot of money.  I realize that both  parties signed a contract, and that he was entitled to enforce that contract.  I just think he could have been a little more understanding of the situation that he and the Billikens were in when he signed his contract and worked out a deal to retire with a reasonable buyout.  If I'm wrong about any of these facts, let me know.

I can't disagree.  You and a few others mentioned the contract piece; yes that is something I didn't touch on.  It's hard because people can look at it in two different ways.  I love you for what you did (coming out of retirement to help a friend), and I hate you for what you did ("ruining" the basketball program - not my words).

In the end, I don't think the ~$800K/year is really THE big  issue to the school.  I was as frustrated with the last two years of Crews' as most; but what I'll remember first is having someone Rick trusted to come help; and win National Coach of the Year.  Time has healed my wound.  I'm done with the past; I'm all on Travis' train now.

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2 hours ago, cheeseman said:

I know it is accepted that RM recommended Crews to take over - is this really true or just an urban legend.  When RM hired him Crews refused to recruit so all he had to do was go see the local players - no travel or lead recruiter responsibilities that year.  What I never understood was when he did not want to recruit that first year that should have been a big red flag for rehiring him or promoting him.  He was not only a poor recruiter but I would think he was not a good judge of talent either.  Those two factors are a killer for a program. I am sure he was a nice guy but he was wholly unfit for a head coaching job.

 

1 hour ago, willie said:

I also question the story that RM recommended Crews. That may or may not be true but I don't remember seeing that at the time. Urban legends do get started on this board. 

-well, the ADirector is in charge of athletics, so doesn't it follow that Chris May made this decision?  I have been on this board for a while and I don't believe that the consensus is Coach Majerus recommended Crews to be interim or take over as head coach 

-and where was Whitesell in all of this? if anyone was recommended it was him and when he didn't get it he left

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2 minutes ago, Cowboy said:

 

-well, the ADirector is in charge of athletics, so doesn't it follow that Chris May made this decision?  I have been on this board for a while and I don't believe that the consensus is Coach Majerus recommended Crews to be interim or take over as head coach 

-and where was Whitesell in all of this? if anyone was recommended it was him and when he didn't get it he left

Absolutely ,Chris May hired Crews. This board has perpetuated that he did it on the recommendation of Rick. For what it's worth I felt May made the right choice at that time. May in my opinion had no choice but to name him permanent head coach after the NCAA run. 

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33 minutes ago, willie said:

Absolutely ,Chris May hired Crews. This board has perpetuated that he did it on the recommendation of Rick. For what it's worth I felt May made the right choice at that time. May in my opinion had no choice but to name him permanent head coach after the NCAA run. 

the permanent job imo was never a question imo.    i say the question is how did crews even get to slu out of retirement to become an assistant coach and how did crews become interim head coach when rickma became ill.  I say in both of those instances it was all rickma.   in the case of the permanent head coach title,  rickma had already passed by then, so of course he didnt make that decision.  

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I never believed the Rickma deathbed recommendation story.  I don't think it is factual.  

Our last game that season was March 18th.  Rickma came back to town for a week tops then left for his post season vacation.  He typically would spend time in Milwaukee, Chicago, Salt Lake.  He became seriously ill in late May and was essentially hospitalized from there until his death.  He did have visitors occasionally but mostly talked to people on the phone.  I don't think he ever stepped foot at SLU after March and at that time he had no idea he wouldn't be coaching.  So when did he anoint Crews as coach?  I think we all just think Rickma was sitting in a room eating BBQ till he died but he nearly died in May, was bedridden most of the summer.  Started to rehab again and had another serious complication in August.  He was never going to recover after that and was bedridden without being able to communicate till he died.

I always thought Crews lobbied for the position.  After the season May felt he had to give him the permanent job, which he didn't have to.

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As I recall Alex Jensen got hired away unexpectedly.  Majerus was mad because of the timing and he didn't want to do the same thing to another program.  So Crews was hired.

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54 minutes ago, EMS67 said:

As I recall Alex Jensen got hired away unexpectedly.  Majerus was mad because of the timing and he didn't want to do the same thing to another program.  So Crews was hired.

That is what I believe happened also - the question still is who decided to make Crews the Interim?  I get the permanent hiring was May but where this all started to go wrong was that Crews the Interim and that gave him the chance to get permanently hired.

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IMO giving Crews the interim coaching job after Rick passed away was arguably the correct decision.  You could argue for Whitesell, but with hindsight being 2020 I don’t think you wanted either taking over full time.  You didn’t really have an option of brining in an outside coach then because you didn’t know if Rick was going to make it or not.

Where SLU really went wrong was giving Crews the full time job after his one interim year.  However, the decision is understandable.  It is tough to not bring back a guy who was winning coach of the awards and just led the program to its best season in the last 50+ years.  I think there were publicly visible red flags and you can argue that someone in the AD definitely should have seen what was really happening though.  Crews was doing fine w Majerus established players, but hadn’t done for recruiting (by his own admission) and wasn’t doing great with players who hadn’t been around Majerus (see Keith Carter and Jared Drew situations).

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17 hours ago, willie said:

Absolutely ,Chris May hired Crews. This board has perpetuated that he did it on the recommendation of Rick. For what it's worth I felt May made the right choice at that time. May in my opinion had no choice but to name him permanent head coach after the NCAA run. 

Could not disagree more.  Any good, independent and confident AD would NOT have made the decision to permanently hire Jim Crews.   Not only was there no prior track record of success with Crews but also any good AD would have personally saw, up close and first hand, the flaws in Jim Crews.  

No problem appointing him Interim Head Coach -- but he should not have been our head coach.  

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14 minutes ago, RUBillsFan said:

IMO giving Crews the interim coaching job after Rick passed away was arguably the correct decision.  You could argue for Whitesell, but with hindsight being 2020 I don’t think you wanted either taking over full time.  You didn’t really have an option of brining in an outside coach then because you didn’t know if Rick was going to make it or not.

Where SLU really went wrong was giving Crews the full time job after his one interim year.  However, the decision is understandable.  It is tough to not bring back a guy who was winning coach of the awards and just led the program to its best season in the last 50+ years.  I think there were publicly visible red flags and you can argue that someone in the AD definitely should have seen what was really happening though.  Crews was doing fine w Majerus established players, but hadn’t done for recruiting (by his own admission) and wasn’t doing great with players who hadn’t been around Majerus (see Keith Carter and Jared Drew situations).

Whitesell was the Associate Head Coach - for the interim period he was the natural one to be selected.  After the year you then could reset with whoever you wanted.   Naming Crews interim never seemed logical to me.  Then basically handing him the job was also something that never made sense.  The entire situation smells of Biondi - I have no direct knowledge - looking for a cheap way to go as usual.

Coach of the Year awards are very often worthless measurements - once again it never made sense to me.  You use such a thing to justify your decision that was not all that popular.  Coaches of the Year getting fired a year or two later is common so I have never put much stock in such non objective awards.  

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