UA gets assistant from Oklahoma

By: Bob Holt
Published: Saturday, May 18, 2019
Oklahoma assistant Chris Crutchfield (right) talks with Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield during practice prior to the first round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City on Thursday, March 17, 2016.
Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma assistant Chris Crutchfield (right) talks with Oklahoma guard Buddy Hield during practice prior to the first round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City on Thursday, March 17, 2016.

FAYETTEVILLE -- Chris Crutchfield, who as an assistant basketball coach at Oral Roberts University and Oklahoma faced the University of Arkansas four times, is joining the Razorbacks.

Crutchfield has been hired as an assistant coach, Razorbacks Coach Eric Musselman announced Friday.

At a glance

CHRIS CRUTCHFIELD

POSITION Arkansas basketball assistant coach

HOMETOWN Hopkinsville, Ky.

PLAYING CAREER Basketball and football at Nebraska-Omaha

EDUCATION Criminal justice degree 1992, and masters in health, physical education and administration 1996 from Nebraska-Omaha

FAMILY Wife, Jodi; sons, Jalen and Josh.

COACHING CAREER Assistant coach Nebraska-Omaha 1995-96; assistant coach Texas-San Antonio 1996-97; assistant coach Tyler (Texas) Junior College 1997-99, head coach 1999-2001; assistant coach New Mexico State 2001-05; director of basketball operations TCU 2005-06, assistant coach 2006-07; assistant coach Oral Roberts 2007-11; assistant coach Oklahoma 2011-19; assistant coach Arkansas 2019-present.

Crutchfield, who will have the title of associate head coach at Arkansas, was an assistant for Oklahoma Coach Lon Kruger the previous eight seasons. The Sooners played in the NCAA Tournament six times during his tenure, including a Final Four appearance in 2016.

"We're excited to have Coach Crutchfield on staff," Musselman said in a news release. "He's one of the best recruiters and coaches in the country as proven by the Sooners being a mainstay in the NCAA Tournament. He has worked for an all-time great coach in Lon Kruger."

With the hiring of Crutchfield and Corey Williams, who was Stetson's head coach the previous six seasons, Musselman has filled two of the assistant coaching positions on his staff.

Mussleman said Thursday that he expected to have his staff completed within the next week.

Crutchfield, a Hopkinsville, Ky., native, played basketball and football at Nebraska-Omaha and began his coaching career as a football graduate assistant after being a juvenile probation worker.

"I took a pay cut, and I was making about $800 a month," Crutchfield told the Oklahoman newspaper in 2017. "It was probably the best decision I made -- getting into grad school and getting my masters and getting into coaching has been really, really a fulfilling career for me."

Crutchfield, who graduated from Nebraska-Omaha in 1992 with a criminal justice degree and then earned his masters in health, physical education and administration in 1996, switched from being a football graduate assistant to a basketball position. He became a full-time assistant during the 1995-96 season.

Crutchfield then became an assistant at Texas-San Antonio, was an assistant and then head coach at Tyler (Texas) Junior College, and was an assistant at New Mexico State and TCU before moving to Oral Roberts from 2007-11 and Oklahoma from 2011-19. He was promoted to associate head coach by Kruger in 2016.

At Oklahoma, Crutchfield helped recruit Buddy Hield, a two-time Big 12 Player of the Year and the national player of the year in 2016, and Trae Young, an All-American as a freshman who played as an NBA rookie with Atlanta this season. Hield and Young were both first-round NBA Draft picks.

Crutchfield's previous teams went 1-3 against the Razorbacks, including 0-1 at Oral Roberts and 1-2 with Oklahoma.

Sports on 05/18/2019

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