Eli Crawford has been named the new coach of the Eastern Mennonite School boys varsity basketball team.
Crawford picks up the reins from Chad Seibert, who coached the past three seasons. Crawford was assistant coach with Seibert for each of those seasons.
Crawford is well known in the area having been a standout basketball and football player at Robert E. Lee High School. After playing basketball for two years at Potomac State in West Virginia and Central Florida Community College, he landed at Eastern Mennonite University, where he was key to the men’s basketball team appearance in the Elite Eight NCAA Tournament play and finishing fourth in the final NCAA Division III basketball poll in 2011.
In an interview following that historic run, Crawford talked about his journey to the EMU community — which now extends to the EMHS community — and reflected on his passion for being a positive role model for kids.
“I stayed out of trouble as a kid, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t had my times of personal adversity,” he said. “I can see God’s work in my life, and I want to extend that knowledge to the next generation and be there for others the way that people have been there for me.”
“Coach Crawford is committed to developing young people not just on the court, but also in life,” says Andrew Gascho, athletic director. “His experience, energy and focus on fundamentals will push athletes to be at the top of their game and be great teammates. I am so excited to see the team come together under his leadership and compete at a high level.”
“I first want to thank God and EMHS. I’m truly thankful and honored for this opportunity,” said Crawford about the appointment. “I’m ready to step in and build on what Coach Seibert has already started and go from there… I look forward to getting these young men back in the gym and working!”