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Eddie Crowder (August 26, 1931 – September 9, 2008) was an American football player and coach. He was an All-American quarterback (QB) and safety at the University of Oklahoma (OU) in the early 1950s and a successful head coach and athletic director (AD) at the University of Colorado (CU) in the 1960s and 1970s.

Eddie Crowder
Eddie Crowder.JPG
As head coach at Colorado
Biographical details
Born(1931-08-26)August 26, 1931
Arkansas City, Kansas
DiedSeptember 9, 2008(2008-09-09) (aged 77)
Lafayette, Colorado
Playing career
1950–1952Oklahoma
1953Edmonton Eskimos
Position(s)Quarterback
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1955Army (offensive backs)
1956–1962Oklahoma (offensive backs)
1963–1973Colorado
Administrative career (AD unless noted)
1965–1984Colorado
Head coaching record
Overall67–49–2
Bowls3–2

He is quoted as saying "Life is boring for someone trying to achieve greatness."[1]

Contents

Early yearsEdit

Born in Arkansas City, Kansas, Crowder was raised in Muskogee, Oklahoma. He played quarterback at Muskogee Central High School and won the state championship in 1948.[2]

Playing careerEdit

Crowder was a member of Oklahoma's first National Football Championship team in 1950, and led Oklahoma to two Big Seven titles as quarterback in 1951 and 1952 and was selected all-conference the same years.[2] Oklahoma was 26–4–1 (.855) during his three years as a player. He was 61 for 110 (.555) (might be 60 for 109 (.550)) with 11 touchdowns for 1189 (might be 1179) yards passing.

He was selected in the second round (22nd overall) of the 1953 NFL Draft by the New York Giants, but declined due to a nerve problem in his throwing arm and served in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as quarterback of the Fort Hood team for 1953. His jersey number was 16 and was listed at 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) and 170 lb (77 kg).

Although selected by the Giants, Crowder went to Canada in 1953 and played the first half of the season with the Edmonton Eskimos, alternating starts at quarterback with Claude Arnold. He was cut by head coach Darrell Royal because of limitations on the number of American players that a team could carry past a certain date. Crowder led the Eskimos to victory in all four of his games, but Royal decided to stick with the veteran Arnold. In a game in Calgary on September 5, Crowder played the full game at quarterback without throwing a single pass; all the passes were thrown by halfbacks Rollie Miles and Billy Vessels. "Easy Ed" was one of many Oklahoma grads to play for the Eskimos in the 1950s.

Coaching careerEdit

Crowder was an assistant coach under Red Blaik at Army in 1955 and for Bud Wilkinson back at Oklahoma for eight seasons (19561962). He became the head coach of the Buffaloes in January 1963 and restored the program's respectability and earned national respect while rebuilding the program. His initial contract was for five years at $15,000 per year.[3]

In 1971, CU was third in the nation at 10–2, behind only Big Eight rivals Nebraska (1) and Oklahoma (2). This was the first time that two teams from the same conference topped the final poll,[4] and it remains as the only time that a conference had the top three.

Crowder currently has the third best record as head coach at Colorado at 67–49–2 (.576). His teams went to five bowl games while he was head coach: the 1967 Bluebonnet (W), 1969 Liberty (W), 1970 Liberty (L), and 1971 Astro-Bluebonnet (W), 1972 Gator (L). He assumed the athletic director duties in 1965, retired from coaching in 1973, and hired his three replacements: Bill Mallory (1974–1978), Chuck Fairbanks (1978–1981), and most importantly, Bill McCartney (1982–1994), CU's all-time winningest coach at 93–55–5 (.624).

Crowder stepped down as AD in 1986.

Later yearsEdit

With his wife Kate, Crowder resided in Boulder after his retirement from CU. He maintained ties to both Oklahoma and Colorado football programs, and assisted in the selections of Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops and Colorado head coach Dan Hawkins. He was also a voter in the Harris College Football Poll.[5] Crowder battled Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2003,[6] and died of leukemia in 2008.[2][7]

Head coaching recordEdit

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
Colorado Buffaloes (Big Eight Conference) (1963–1973)
1963 Colorado 2–8 2–5 6th
1964 Colorado 2–8 1–6 7th
1965 Colorado 6–2–2 4–2–1 3rd 20
1966 Colorado 7–3 5–2 2nd
1967 Colorado 9–2 5–2 T–2nd W Bluebonnet 13
1968 Colorado 4–6 3–4 T–4th
1969 Colorado 8–3 5–2 3rd W Liberty 16
1970 Colorado 6–5 3–4 4th L Liberty 16
1971 Colorado 10–2 5–2 3rd W Astro-Bluebonnet 7 3
1972 Colorado 8–4 4–3 T–3rd L Gator 14 16
1973 Colorado 5–6 2–5 T–6th
Colorado: 67–49–2 39–37–1
Total: 67–49–2

Awards and honorsEdit

  • All-Conference (Big-Seven) 1951, 1952
  • All-American, 1952
  • Colorado Sports Hall of Fame, 1990
  • Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame, 2003
  • University of Colorado athletic hall of fame, 2004[2]
  • FWAA Citation of Honor, 2007[8][9]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Wyatt, Hugh (February 4, 2000). "February 4, 2000 news". Retrieved August 22, 2007.
  2. ^ a b c d Tom Kensler (September 10, 2008). "Former CU coach Crowder dies". The Denver Post. Retrieved September 10, 2008.
  3. ^ "Crowder signs 5-year Colorado U. grid pact". Deseret News. (Salt Lake City, Utah). UPI. January 2, 1963. p. 6B.
  4. ^ "Voters unanimously pick Nebraska as top grid team". Lewiston Morning Tribune. (Idaho). Associated Press. January 4, 1972. p. 11.
  5. ^ "The Harris Interactive College Football Poll - 2006 panelists". HarrisInteractive.com. Harris Interactive. December 3, 2006. Archived from the original on January 16, 2016. Retrieved August 22, 2007.
  6. ^ Armstrong, Jim (January 30, 2004). "Crowder counts blessings" (PDF). Denver Post. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 22, 2006. Retrieved August 22, 2007.
  7. ^ http://www.cubuffs.com/ViewArticle.dbml?ATCLID=1579165
  8. ^ Camera staff (August 9, 2007). "Former CU coach Crowder receives prestigious honor". DailyCamera.com. Archived from the original on August 13, 2007. Retrieved August 9, 2007.
  9. ^ Kensler, Tom (August 9, 2007). "Buffs like fast-break football". Denver Post. Retrieved August 22, 2007.

External linksEdit