McMurry University track and field head coach Barbara Crousen was inducted into the Texas Girls Coaches Association Hall of Fame at the TGCA Honors Awards Luncheon on Wednesday (July 11) at the Arlington Hilton Hotel.
Upwards of 40 of Crousen's current and former co-workers, family and friends joined the gathering as the War Hawks' venerable coach was recognized for a lifetime of achievements and contributions to girls' athletics in the state of Texas at both the high school and collegiate levels.
Crousen just 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.
Crousen also holds the distinction of being the first-ever female to coach a men's team to an NCAA national championship, in any sport and at any level.
Crousen earned the nation's highest honor in 2012 when she was named as the NCAA III National Men's “Coach of the Year.” In 2001 she was also named as the national Women's “Coach of the Year.” The women's program finished fourth overall at the national outdoor meet in 2001 and followed in 2002 as the national runner up.
Since taking over the McM program in the summer of 1998, Crousen has helped McMurry become a consistent track power in the south region and nationally.
Since her first season in 1999, Crousen led the men's team to an unprecedented 14-consecutive American Southwest Conference titles (1999-2012). 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 was named the men's NCAA III South/Southeast Region Coach of the Year marking the ninth time she has earned that honor.
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.
A renowned clinician throughout the Lone Star state and well-respected by her peers, Crousen is USA Track and Field Level I certified in the sport, certified in USA TF Level II for sprints and hurdles and a USATF Level I Lead Instructor.
She has been published in the Texas High School Coaches Association Magazine and has produced four track-related videos detailing tips on coaching and improving athletes' performance. She has had five athletes attend the USA Junior Elite Olympics Training Camp in Colorado Springs, Colo., and San Diego, Calif.
Before coming to McMurry, Crousen worked in the Texas public school system for 32 years including a stint as Cooper High School's head track and cross country coach in Abilene. She also worked in the El Paso, Deer Park and Pasadena districts.
While working in the public school system, Crousen rolled up some impressive accolades, as well. She was the 1990 TGCA All-Star Coach and served as the TGCA's president in 1993. In 1995, she was the Abilene ISD Physical Educator of the Year and the TGCA track Coach of the Year.
Crousen was the National Federation State Director in 1996-97 and National Federation Track Coach of the Year in 1998. She has had five athletes attend the USA Junior Elite Olympic Training Center. In 2005, she was name a TGCA Honor Coach.
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 served on the NCAA Division III Track and Field national committee.
Crousen's husband, Joe, was the head football coach at McMurry for the 2005 and 2006 seasons and was inducted to the Big Country Hall Fame in May of 2012. The couple has three children (Kevin, Kerri and Tamra) and seven grandchildren (Cooper, Claire, Carson, Foster, Stealey, Levi and Ruby).
Information for this story provided by McMurry Sports Information.