Arkansas assistant Crutchfield leaving for D-II job

By: Scottie Bordelon
Published: Monday, June 1, 2020
Arkansas associate head coach Chris Crutchfield speaks to his team Friday, Nov. 22, 2019, during the second half of play against South Dakota in Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville. Visit nwadg.com/photos to see more photographs from the game.
Photo by Andy Shupe
Arkansas associate head coach Chris Crutchfield speaks to his team Friday, Nov. 22, 2019, during the second half of play against South Dakota in Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville. Visit nwadg.com/photos to see more photographs from the game.

FAYETTEVILLE — Chris Crutchfield is leaving the Arkansas men’s basketball program after one season.

Crutchfield, who has been an associate head coach for the Razorbacks since last season, has accepted the head coaching job at East Central (Okla.) University, a Division II program in Ada, Okla. Crutchfield will replace Ja Havens, who was hired at Northeastern (Okla.) State on May 19.

"My family and I are excited to impact our students-athletes in a positive way while competing for championships," Crutchfield said in a statement. "I can't wait to develop a relationship with our current student-athletes, alumni and the community of Ada. My family and I are looking forward to a successful work-life balance at ECU."

Crutchfield was the second on-court assistant hired by Arkansas coach Eric Musselman last spring. He had spent the previous eight seasons at Oklahoma under Lon Kruger.

Before coming to Arkansas, he coached college basketball for 12 consecutive seasons in Oklahoma. Crutchfield was an assistant at Oral Roberts in Tulsa from 2007-11.

"We are beyond excited about this opportunity for Coach Crutch and his family," Musselman said on Twitter. "He was instrumental in laying the foundation of our culture at Arkansas."

Crutchfield has two years of head coaching experience at Tyler (Texas) Junior College from 1999-2001, where he had a 35-28 record.

East Central is a member of the Great American Conference, which is based in Russellville and includes schools from Arkansas and Oklahoma. The Tigers are coming off a 17-12 season.

"Coach Crutchfield has built an impressive reputation within the college basketball community as an elite coach, recruiter and leader," ECU athletics director Jeff Williams said in a statement. "The expertise he brings to our program will make an immense impact upon our players and overall program."

Crutchfield is the first of Musselman's initial hires to leave Arkansas. He is the first Arkansas assistant coach to be hired as a college head coach since Ronny Thompson was hired at Ball State in 2006.

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