Enterprise Outlaws girls basketball coach Mike Crawford went into the top ten list for coaches with the most victories in Oregon this year after winning his 400th game last month against Gold Beach in post-season play.
Coach Crawford, a math teacher at Enterprise High School, has his own roots in Eastern Oregon, growing up in Halfway where his father was a teacher also. And, if you ever sat down and talked to Mike about his accomplishments, you might think his parents in that small town had humble pie for dessert at least once a week.
The coach really doesnt like to talk about himself. Instead, he credits others for his achievements, going back to his beginning years at Arlington High School where he learned there is no me in team.
As an assistant coach at Arlington, Mike Crawford fell into the high school sports capital of the world and met his mentor Lee Bittinger. At Arlington, the school was ranked number one in football and basketball and third in baseball. Crawford started his coaching career working with the baseball team.
Mike also credits Coach Chuck Corak of Enterprise, who was one of his teachers and coach in Halfway who taught him how to play within the system. Mike started out as an assistant coach in 1987 for the football team under Corak at Enterprise High School.
After reflecting about his roots and contacts of today, Mike Crawford said, Its a small world after all.
Coach Crawford does have his stats: they are on his computer at the school and they are some amazing stats.
Crawfords first year as coach for the girls basketball team was in 1989 when he went 4-16 on the year and 1-11 in league play. It didnt take long for Crawford to become the coach he is today. In 1993, he had his first winning season at 14-9 and in 1995 he was league champion.
After this foundation, Crawford went on an 8-year run as conference champ with six of those years as League Champion. In 1996 Crawford won his first and only state championship while coaching Aneliese Johnson, Diane McFetridge, Chelsie Nash Shannon Ables and Amber Locke.
The coachs 24 years worth of astounding records with Enterprise girls also include 21 trips into the district championships with13 appearances in the finals, 14 times with a trip to the state tournament with 11 appearances going into the elite eight.
This year, along with the coachs 400 wins, the Enterprise Outlaw girls basketball team won the coveted Sportsmanship Award.
This is really quite the honor and not just your run of the mill achievement, the trophy is actually bigger than the championship trophy and extremely hard to come by, Coach Crawford said. There are three main criteria to meet and be recognized for this team. Coach and fans all have to play a part. Both the fans and I dont give the refs that much trouble and the girls always help when someone falls on the court.
When asked about his tenacity and how is able to coach for such a long time Coach Mike Crawford said. Ive never really thought about it that much. I have literally seen hundreds of coaches come and go. Again Ill go back to the people I learned from. I think team, team, team, and I try to not get sideways with anyone. When the season is over Im already thinking about next year.