Shifting priorities reason for Crabtree's departure

Thursday, March 8, 2012
Brian Crabtree

ROACHDALE -- Sometimes life throws you a curve ball even when your chosen profession is head football coach. North Putnam head football coach Brian Crabtree tendered his resignation recently and spoke with the Banner Graphic about his decision to walk away from the program.

Crabtree's resignation comes as the North Putnam community is in the midst of some troubling times, but the head coach reassured that his decision to step away was based on personal reasons.

"There have been some changes in my life -- some things I didn't foresee happening when I took the job and with those changes I've had to reprioritize," Crabtree said. "Make some other things more important than my football career and that's just the absolute best thing I can do for me right now.

"My resignation has nothing to do with North Putnam High School or the kids or the community," Crabtree continued. "It's an awesome place to be. I've thoroughly enjoyed my year being around the kids and working with the staff. The community couldn't be more supportive, so it's got nothing to do with that.

"I can't imagine a better job in the state of Indiana than being head football coach at North Putnam. Right now at this point in my life, it's not what I need to be doing," he added.

For anyone who's coached at any level, they will tell you that being a coach is in their blood. Crabtree acknowledged stepping away was a hard decision and didn't rule out returning to the sideline in the future.

"I want to stay involved," he said. "One of the things I did this season was I looked at coach (Dan) Fouts and kind of saw the role he played and how satisfying it can be to be an assistant coach. And work with the kids and not have to mess with the other stuff.

"I would love to still be involved as an assistant coach at some level. If that happened at North Putnam -- if something opened up with a job at North Putnam -- that would be cool," he added.

In his one year leading the Cougars, Crabtree's squad experienced a successful season that resulted in 11 wins. He said while winning is always a good feeling, it was the relationships that were formed in the process that he will miss the most.

"Winning 11 games is a lot of fun," Crabtree said. "The winning part of it of course is great, but what meant the most to me was the people I got to be around and work with. First and foremost, the kids are the best kids you could imagine to work with every day. They're top notch and they representative of the North Putnam community.

"Then the coaches I got to work with, they're just an awesome group of guys. I couldn't have asked for a better group of guys. They were so supportive and are great. The school administration was awesome to work with. It just goes hand in hand with everything else. Just great people," he added.

"The parents and the community are second to none. That's probably the hardest thing for me making this decision is walking away from the great people that I've been able to experience this year. That's what is going to stick with me the most," he concluded.