By Marc DeMartis ’21
Coach Jim Crowley of the Providence College Women’s Basketball Team earned his 300th career win last Saturday over the University of Massachusetts-Amherst Minutemen. He has been coaching for more than 20 years.
Coach Crowley’s career started back at his alma mater, Keuka College, in upstate New York. After spending three seasons with the team and leading them to an Eastern College Athletic Conference Championship appearance, Crowley caught the eye of St. Bonaventure University. At St. Bonaventure, he spent his first four seasons as the assistant coach of the team before being promoted to the head coaching position, where he would remain for another 16 years. During his long tenure, Crowley experienced immense success.
He saw a lot of this success come in his last eight seasons at St. Bonaventure; six of those eight were 20 plus win seasons. Most importantly, however, Crowley led the Bonnies to their first ever NCAA tournament appearance in 2012 during the same season that he broke St. Bonaventure’s record for most wins in a season with 31. That season he was also awarded Coach of the Year by ESPN.com.
With such an impressive past, Crowley caught the eye of PC’s Athletic Director, Bob Driscoll, who decided to name him the 10th head coach in PC women’s basketball history in the spring of 2016. Coach Crowley brought all three of his assistant coaches, Priscilla Edwards, Tiara Johnson, and Jessica Jenkins, with him from St. Bonaventure to help continue his success. So far, he has proven that he will turn the Friars back into a winning program considering his team has kicked off their season undefeated, with a 3-0 record.
Now, looking at his 300th win, Crowley’s great coaching was on full display as the team looked incredibly efficient against the UMass Minutemen. Four players for the Friars posted scores in the double digits. Kyra Spiwak ’21 scored a career-high 15 points, shooting 50 percent from the field. Spiwak said, “It was really special for Coach Crowley to get his 300th win, and I was honored to be a part of it. I think it says a lot about his hard work and commitment to all of the teams he has coached in his career. It is an incredible accomplishment and definitely well deserved.”
Spiwak explained that Crowley “was a big part of why I chose to play at Providence. He pushes us to be the best players we can be on and off the court. He cares about us as people and wants to see us succeed in all aspects of life, not just basketball.”
With regards to Crowley’s coaching staff that followed him from St. Bonaventure, she said, “It’s a privilege to play under him and the entire coaching staff he has. They know how to make it a family atmosphere.” Comments like these are important for a team’s success and it is great to hear how well the team is performing under Coach Crowley and his staff this season.
Coach Crowley and the Friars take on the University of Massachusetts-Lowell this Sunday, November 24 as they try to remain undefeated.