Stillman coaching legend Donny Crawford inducted to Hall of Fame

By WVUA 23 Sports Reporter Tyler White and Grace Brister

After resigning from Stillman College in 2015, former head baseball coach Donnie Crawford was inducted the inaugural Stillman College Athletic Hall of Fame.

In eleven seasons with the Tigers, Crawford won 272 games. He said he feels overjoyed to be a part of something like this.

“I felt really honored (and) humbled,” Crawford said. “Thank the good Lord for the many blessings that he’s bestowed upon me through these years.”

Crawford is one of the most successful coaches in Stillman College history. He holds the longest winning streak in school history: 20 winning seasons over nine years.

Crawford set the record for the most wins in the Tigers NCAA Division II history.

As a coach, he said he had a unique way of of deciding what players he wanted in the program.

“How we were as young men, not really ball players and maybe just kind of saw something in us that it was just the perfect storm right,” Crawford said. “Are you a competitor, are you somebody that likes to compete? Do you hate losing?…As people know me, I hate losing.”

His overall goal was not about winning and losing. He cared more about the lessons he taught the players. Former Stillman baseball player Josh Massey said Crawford made sure that setting goals was a standard practice.

“If you want to reach those goals you’ve got to put in a lot a lot of hard work,” Massye Said. “He was really good at motivating us, and we may not have understood a whole lot of why he did things back then, but I can tell you now, I understand them a lot more in terms of disciplining and preparing us.”

Crawford said he was honored to be inducted, but he is forever reaping a greater reward.

“Seeing what all of these guys have been able to do through their careers outside of baseball…I’m kind of like a proud dad seeing what they have accomplished (and) see their families (and) their children. They’re proud to show them off to me, ” Crawford said. “That’s really the reward that I’m just so thankful for.

Currently, Crawford is head baseball coach at Lane College in Jackson, Tennessee. He has also been the head baseball coach at Brookwood High School, Holt High School and Tuscaloosa County High School. He served three seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Alabama. After leaving Stillman, he assisted Gordo High School to a 3A Alabama High School Athletic Association state title in 2017 and multiple state semifinal appearances.