John Crutcher doesn’t know exactly what’s on the horizon for him, or where that horizon might be.
However, the now-ex-William Chrisman football coach knows his immediate plans involve more time with his wife and children – which recently went from singular to plural. That admittedly factored into his decision, he said.
“It’s a decision my wife and I kind of talked about,” said Crutcher, who submitted his resignation last week after a 9-31 record in four seasons at the Chrisman helm. “It’s a decision we made as a family. Once the season was over, we talked about the direction we needed to go as a family, and it’s something we prayed about.
“My decision had nothing to do with wins and losses. It’s about where my wife and I are at.”
Unfortunately for Crutcher and the Bears, the right side of the ledger was higher.
After going 5-5 in Crutcher’s first-ever season as a head coach, the Bears went 0-10 in 2011 and recovered to go 3-7 in 2012. This year’s team was rife with inexperience along the lines and suffered numerous injuries among backfield and perimeter players on its way to 1-9 campaign.
The lone win came against crosstown rival Truman on a last-minute touchdown. Beating the Patriots three out of four times will be one of Crutcher’s fondest memories, he said.
“I know that was a big deal in Independence, and the way we won two of them,” he said. “The first win at a new school you always remember. I coached tremendous kids – there’s too many kids to name – and I have had a lot of fun, have a lot of good memories and made a lot of good relationships.
“I hope I improved a lot of their lives by being a part of it, even when we had to make some tough decisions.”
Crutcher said he leaves with no regrets.
“Not at all,” he said. “I laid it all on the line for those kids, and that’s the most important thing. At the end of the day I can put my head down and sleep well. Every one of the coaches I coached with did a tremendous job with the kids.”
Chrisman activities director Dan Ogle, who had two sons (junior quarterback Gannon and sophomore tight end/defensive end Gannon) on Crutcher’s team this season, said it’s very sad and with disappointment that Crutcher stepped down.
“I think John had made great strides, put together a good program and put together a good group of coaches,” Ogle said. “He was disappointed, obviously, in the end result, but I really believe John to be a class act who ran a class program. Whatever he decides to do in the future, I’m sure he will be successful.”
Crutcher said he certainly isn’t ruling out a return to coaching in near or distant future, and he couldn’t say for certain if he’ll still be teaching at Chrisman next August.
“It’s not really in my hands; it’s in God’s hands,” he said. “God’s got a plan for me and my family. It’s time for us as a family to start a new adventure. I’m not necessarily taking a step away from coaching, but my plans for now are to spend more time with wife and kids.”
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