Kirk Crawford begins his second year as an assistant women's basketball coach at Air Force. He spent the previous four years (2004-08) as an assistant coach at Southern Mississippi. Crawford brings a wealth of basketball knowledge to the Academy, with 29 years of coaching experience.
"We're very thrilled to have Kirk join our program," head coach Ardie McInelly said. "He brings a wealth of basketball knowledge to the Academy--having worked with collegiate and professional athletes--and our players will benefit tremendously from his expertise. In addition, we feel our program will have an increased presence in the south region in regards to recruiting with Kirk's expertise in the region gained during his time at Southern Miss."
During his tenure at Southern Miss, Crawford helped resurrect the program into one of the winningest in Conference USA. Southern Miss increased its win total every year under Crawford, culminating in a 21-win season in 2007-08 where the Eagles made it to the third round of the Women's National Invitational Tournament (WNIT Sweet Sixteen).
His duties include on-the-floor coaching, assisting in recruiting, player development and the scouting of opponents. Fourteen of his 29 years are at the NCAA Division I level coaching with both men's and women's basketball programs. He was an assistant women's coach at Providence College in the Big East Conference, which was the top ranked conference in terms of RPI, prior to his time at Southern Miss.
Crawford began his coaching career in 1978 at Springfield High School in Springfield, Colo. He then coached for one season at Littleton High School in Littleton, Colo., before spending 12 years as a coach with the Colorado AAU from 1980-92. Crawford returned to the high school circuit for three more seasons at Park City High School in Park City, Utah (1992-94) and Olympus High School in Salt Lake City, Utah (1994-95). Crawford entered the collegiate coaching ranks at Southern Utah University in Cedar City as a men's assistant coach from 1994-99. In 1999, he moved on to the University of Portland in Portland, Ore., where he served as an assistant coach for two seasons (1999-01) and then spent the 2001-02 season as an assistant coach at Portland State University.
As an assistant coach at the collegiate level, Crawford has been directly responsible for on- and off-campus recruiting, post- and perimeter-player development, opponent scouting, game plan and practice preparation, in-game defensive schemes, film breakdown and editing, summer camps and coaches' clinics and strength and conditioning.
In addition to his collegiate experience, Crawford also has assisted in developing players in the NBA as well as WNBA. He has spent time as a mentor and volunteer for the Portland Fire of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA). Prior to his stint at Southern Miss, Crawford spent time with the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla., where he began developing NBA and WNBA players. Crawford still currently works out numerous NBA players during the offseason, developing and enhancing their skills.
Crawford, a 1978 graduate of Western State College (Colo.), earned a bachelor's degree in physical education. While at WSC, he lettered in basketball and baseball. Crawford attended Alameda High School in Lakewood, Colo., where he was a standout basketball and baseball player. He also is a competitive triathlete and cyclist and is currently ranked fifth nationally in his age-group. He is married to the former Margie Rushing, and the couple has nine-year-old twin boys, Zachary and Nolan.