Crowder’s unconventional coaching path,
background leads him to Creekview
BY RYAN BLACK
IN A PHRASE DRIPPING WITH UNINTEN- tional irony, Creekview High School’s team otto this season is “Let’s Be Different.” The phrase itself refers directly to the
Grizzlies’ football history. Two trips to the playoffs have had the same result: a first-round
loss. Creekview hasn’t won a region title,
either, though the school has only fielded a
football team since 2006. That’s why this year,
the Grizzlies have vowed to “be different” than
previous editions, be it a postseason victory or
a region crown.
But the team motto aptly describes its new
head coach as well.
Terry Crowder’s entry into coaching was far
from typical, to say nothing of the scholastic
pursuits which also set him apart from most of
Unlike many who grew up around the sport,
Crowder didn’t immediately feel called to coach.
Yes, he played in high school and went on to
study at the University of Arkansas. But when
he arrived in Fayetteville, Crowder could easily
be confused with any other college student. He
had no idea what he wanted to do with his life.
“I hadn't declared a major and I was just
floundering around,” he said. “I wasn't doing
very well in school. And that's why my mom sat
me down and tried to give me some direction.”
She suggested he consider coaching football. After giving it some thought and discussing
the possibility with those he trusted, Crowder
agreed his mother knew best.
“Once I'd made that decision, it just felt
right,” he said. “It was a good decision.”
The results back up Crowder’s statement.
In nine seasons as a head coach, his record
stands at 60-40, all at Chattahoochee High
School in Alpharetta. In 2010, the Cougars
went 15-0 on their way to the Class AAAA state
championship. A season later, the Cougars won
their second consecutive region title.
something I was very interested in. I did well in
it because of my interest level.”
Crowder didn’t stop with just a history degree,
however. He also received a master’s degree
in theology from Liberty University in 2008.
Crowder’s pastor was on the board of trustees
at Liberty, which led to a degree program at the
church. Every weekend for two years, Crowder
took the class along with other like-minded,
It was an experience he’ll never forget.
“Yeah, I was in way over my head,” Crowder
said, “but I feel really blessed that I was able to
learn and take something away from that.”
Similarly, Crowder plans to use the things he
has learned from his coaching mentors — spe-
cifically, Fahring; his good friend Mike Falleur,
who has moved back to Arkansas to coach at
Fort Smith Northside, their alma mater; and
Prince Avenue coach Jeff Herron, whose staff he
worked on at Camden — to help Creekview attain
the same success he has had at other schools.
With his myriad hobbies that have nothing to
do with football, Crowder appears to be the type
who could happily walk away from coaching at
an earlier age than most. But when the topic
was broached, Crowder laughed it off. He hasn’t
Entering his first season at Creekview after
nine years at Chattahoochee, Terry Crowder
has a record of 60-40 (.600).
* (Region Champions) **(State Champions)
given it much thought. He’s seven years away
from reaching the retirement benefits that kick
in after 30 years of teaching. More pertinently,
he’s only 50 years old.
Which is to say, he’s not looking to get out
any time soon.
“This is something I can't imagine not do-
ing,” he said. “I think I may coach well into my
60s. I just enjoy it so much. Every day it's a
new challenge, so I'll probably be doing this for
a little while.”
And for once, he blended in with his col-
leagues. For once, Crowder was your run-of-the-
mill football coach.
For once, he wasn’t different.