By Melony Roy
CAMDEN N.J. (CBS) — After 35 seasons, the boys’ basketball program at Camden Catholic High School is losing one Crawford but gaining another.
The Irish have won three state titles, seven sectional titles, and ten conference titles during Jim Crawford’s reign as head coach.
But after 35 seasons and 713 wins, he’s decided it’s time to step down.
“It’s easy stepping away when have a lot of confidence in the person taking your place,” he said recently. “We are surrounded by a very, very good coaching staff, Matt being part of that, and I think everything will resume if not do better.”
Matt is Jim’s son, Matt Crawford, who also teaches at Camden Catholic and has been an assistant coach for the last four seasons. Matt will be the new head coach.
“I just remember, years ago, that Father Brennan, in 1976, gave me an opportunity to become a coach,” recalls Jim, “and I thought it was my chance to give somebody else an opportunity. I’m going to stay on as assistant coach and a teacher at Camden Catholic. I absolutely love basketball, but I love Camden Catholic even more.”
Matt, in turn, describes his dad’s coaching style as relaxed.
“He’s not really a yeller or screamer but at the same time demands respect from his players,” Matt Crawford tells KYW Newsradio. “He’s very cerebral, he thinks about the game rather than just reacting.”
Matt (right) says there are more similarities than differences in their coaching styles. And as far as the future, he says, he just wants to continue the tradition of winning and playing the right way.
Jim Crawford, third on South Jersey’s all-time list in career coaching wins in boys’ basketball, says he would like the Crawford legacy to be known as “honesty, with hard work.”