Editor's note: The following is a press release issued by Plainfield School District 202:
Success doesn’t just fall at ones feet. It requires mental concentration and physical work. Of course, having an excellent leader can also be helpful.
Plainfield South High School cross country coach Jason Crowe certainly fills that role, as his peers have now affirmed. Crowe was named the Illinois Track and Cross Country Coaches Association’s 2013 Cross Country Coach of the Year.
He was honored and recognized at the ITCCCA’s 50th Annual Coaches Clinic on Jan. 12 at Oak Park River Forest High School.
Crowe started his teaching and career in 1998 at Joliet Catholic Academy before coming to District 202 in 2004 to teach physical education at Central Elementary School. He said he was surprised to learn he’d received the honor.
“I was not expecting it, because there are so many terrific people that you work with, and so many coaches I look up to. I feel humble,” said Crowe, who moved to PSHS in 2005.
Yet, it seems Crowe’s modesty – while certainly sincere – may be misplaced.
“This recognition is long overdue and certainly well-deserved,” said PSHS Principal David Travis.
This year, the PSHS Boys cross country team won the Joliet Invitational and Southwest Prairie Conference tournaments; took second place at the IHSA Regionals and Sections; and placed sixth at State.
“The impact Coach Crowe has had on our Cougar cross-country program is incalculable,” Travis said.
“His program is renowned not only for consistent excellent performance but also as a program demonstrating excellent character. No matter what the context, Coach Crowe instills in his student-athletes that excellence is not an act, but a habit of mind and effort,” Travis said.
Crowe’s success can be traced to his passion for running, but also to his sincere respect and love for the kids, added PSHS Athletic Director Bob Yanello.
“He has a way of getting kids to believe in themselves and each other. This particular season was a great example of how leadership can transform good runners into true champions,” he said.
As much as he appreciated the praise, Crowe insisted that his success did not come without help.
“I would not have received this (honor) if not for the terrific student athletes we have at Plainfield South,” Crowe said.
“At the same time, the coaches we have here are a great group of teachers and educators. When a person wins an individual honor, people sometimes forget that we all work as a team,” he said.