Last updated: July 24. 2013 2:32PM - 184 Views

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Cody Leist


PDT Sports Writer


Waverly didn’t need to go far to find its newest football coach.


Chris Crabtree, a longtime assistant to former head coach Rusty Wright, was hired Friday by the school to become the next leader of the Tiger football program. He has been in the school system since the 1995-1996 school year.


“I’m really excited. it feels like this has been a long time coming,” Crabtree said in an interview with the Pike County News Watchman. “I’m thankful for the opportunity and really happy I have been chosen for the job.”


Crabtree takes over for Wright, whose contract was non-renewed earlier this winter. During the offseason, he has been in charge of the strength and conditioning program and is the head the school’s powerlifting team, which will compete in the March 9 state meet.


While the move comes with excitement, Crabtree understands he needs to get ready to turn around a program that has not experienced a winning season since 2007 and was 13-17 in the last five seasons.


“I have put a lot of time into coaching, but it will also be new and different for me as the head coach,” Crabtree said. “I look forward to the challenges. I plan to surround myself with good people and see what happens.”


Crabtree plans to make some changes, which include a focus on running the ball. Defensively, an emphasis on tackling will be made.


He also thanked a lot of people involved in the process and those who helped him get to this stage as a coach, including his predecessor.


“I want to thank the administration for giving me the opportunity to be the head coach,” Crabtree said. “I also want to thank Rusty Wright for giving me the defensive coordinator’s role. Rusty gave his staff a lot of freedom and I learned a lot from that experience.”


Infomation from the Pike County News Watchman contributed to the report.


Cody Leist can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 294, or cleist@civitasmedia.com.

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