Press Release from ULM
MONROE, La. – Grayson Crawford, who spent the last 2 1/2 years at Murray State, has been named pitching coach and recruiting coordinator at ULM, according to an announcement made by head baseball coach Michael Federico. Crawford officially joined the ULM coaching staff on Jan. 2. After spending the 2015-16 season as a volunteer assistant at Murray State, Crawford was promoted to pitching coach and recruiting coordinator in 2016. In 2017, he helped the Racers post 29 victories – the seventh-highest single-season win total in program history and the most since 2009 (34). Murray State also made its first trip to the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament since 2010. Crawford also had a pair of catchers, in Tyler Lawrence (Milwaukee Brewers) and Kipp Moore (Philadelphia Phillies), sign Major League contracts. As the pitching coach in 2017, Crawford tutored a staff that set school single-season records for strikeouts (491) and saves (10). The MSU pitching staff featured MLB Draft pick Derrik Watson, who was selected in the 25th round by the Colorado Rockies, while Austin Dubsky, Chad Gendron, Jack Hranec and John Lollar signed with Independent League teams. “I’m happy to announce the hiring of Grayson Crawford as our new pitching coach and recruiting coordinator,” Federico said. “Grayson is a winner and ultra-professional. He’s young and hungry to get on the road recruiting, and he possesses great knowledge of pitching. Grayson will work tirelessly to help continue to build our Warhawks baseball program back to prominence. “I’m grateful to have his wife Lee, daughter Ava Gray and son Evan join our baseball family.” The 29-year-old Crawford came to Murray State after spending the 2014-15 season at Lindsey Wilson College in Columbia, Ky., where he served as the lead assistant coach and recruiting coordinator. He played a key role in helping LWC make its first appearance in the NAIA World Series in 2015 while earning a program-best No. 10 national ranking. The Blue Raiders won the Kingsport Bracket Championship and the Mid-South Conference Tournament for just the second time in program history. In 2015, Crawford coached MSC Player of the Year and NAIA First-Team All-American Alex Bautista, who was later selected in the 22nd round of the MLB Draft by the Chicago Cubs. He also instructed Washington Nationals signee Carlos Pena. Crawford previously compiled a 47-35 record (.573) in two seasons as head coach at Christian County High School in Hopkinsville, Ky. In his first season, he guided the Colonels to a 26-15 record, including the district championship, while advancing to the Region 2 Championship Game. The following season, Christian County went 21-20, finished as the District 8 runner-up and again appeared in the Region 2 Championship Game. Prior to his tenure at Christian County, Crawford served as an assistant coach at Pensacola (Fla.) State College for two seasons where he helped 27 student-athletes move on to play at four-year institutions. He also spent three seasons as the head coach and assistant general manager for the Hoptown Hoppers, a collegiate summer wood bat league team. Under Crawford’s leadership, the Hoppers won back-to-back Ohio Valley League Championships in 2012 and ’13. He launched his coaching career in 2010 as an assistant coach under his father Donny Crawford at Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Ala., where they combined to lead the Tigers to the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament titles. In 11 seasons overall, Donny led the Tigers to seven Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championships and seven NCAA Division II Tournament appearances. Crawford, who began his playing career at Southern Arkansas, played catcher for his father for three years at Stillman. He earned his bachelor’s in physical education from Stillman in 2010. Crawford and his wife Lee, married in 2012, have two children: Ava Gray and Evan.