TISHOMINGO, OK --
Seven months after their historic NJCAA National Championship, honors are still rolling in for the 2013 Murray State College baseball team. This time, the awards go to Head Coach Zach Crabtree.
Recently Crabtree was named the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II National Coach of the Year by the NJCAA, and the American Baseball Coaches Association/Diamond Sports NJCAA Division II National Coach of the Year. Crabtree received the awards at the ABCA National Convention in Dallas. The ABCA is the largest national baseball coaches' organization, and more than three-thousand coaches were in attendance at the conference.
"That night was also the ABCA Hall of Fame induction," says Crabtree. "So I got to sit up there with the hall of fame inductees. Sitting up there with all those guys…that was a neat deal and a good experience. It's good recognition for our program and for our school."
At the World Series last year, Crabtree also received the award for the NJCAA Division II National Championship Coach of the Tournament. He was also named the 2013 Oklahoma Baseball Coaches Association College Coach of the Year.
Associate Head Baseball Coach Lloyd Gage weighs in on what makes Crabtree successful. "He's a players' coach, is what we would say. He gets the absolute most out of his players. He gets them to buy in completely to the way the program is run and believe in our system. It's obviously shown in the product that we've put on the field."
Crabtree has a different theory on why he got the award.
"It just means you've got good players who are successful and help you win," he says. "And good assistant coaches, basically. Like anything in life, if you surround yourself with good people, you look good."
"I think that every award he wins is a team award," says Gage. "He really believes that it's not about him. He'd much rather see our entire team raise a trophy that they earned, that we all earned, versus him getting an award as an individual. He doesn't work for himself and for those accolades. He works for this program and for the success of that. I think that's how he views his success and I think that's what makes him a great coach."
See the Aggies in action at the team's first home game, Wednesday, February 12 at noon versus Mountain View College. For a complete schedule, go to mscok.edu.