Crowley bolts Bona for Providence

Posted at 3:50 PM, May 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-10 18:44:15-04

After 16 years leading the St. Bonaventure women's basketball team, head coach Jim Crowley is leaving the Bonnies to take the same position at Providence College.

Multiple sources tell 7 Eyewitness Sports Anchor Shawn Stepner an official announcement on Crowley's move is "imminent".

Crowley departs Bona after taking the Bonnies to two NCAA Tournaments.  In 2012 the Bonnies advanced to the Sweet 16.  In 2016 they made the round of 32.  During his tenure his teams also qualified for four NIT's.

His record at St. Bonaventure was 258-231 overall, 108-134 in the Atlantic 10.  He was A10 Coach of the Year in 2009, 2012 and 2014.

Providence is a step up in competition as the Friars compete in the Big East.

UPDATE: Providence made Crowley's hire official at 4:07pm.  Below is the official press release from the Friars:

Providence College Athletics Director Bob Driscoll announced today (May 10) that Jim Crowley has been named head women’s basketball coach.  Crowley becomes the 10th head coach in the program’s 42-year history, replacing Susan Robinson Fruchtl, who resigned in April to become Athletic Director at Saint Francis University (Pa.).

A formal press conference to introduce Crowley is set for Tuesday, May 24 at 11:30 a.m.  The press conference is open to the media, campus community and fans of the program and will be held in the Slavin Center Atrium on the campus of Providence College. 

“I am pleased to welcome Jim Crowley to Providence College as our new head women’s basketball coach,” said Providence College President Reverend Brian J. Shanley, O.P.  “Jim has enjoyed a long track record of success at St. Bonaventure University, where he was named A-10 Coach of the Year on three different occasions and also national coach of the year in 2012.  At PC, Jim is inheriting a young team which now has had the benefit of some strong, in-game experience.  We are confident that he will further develop the skills and basketball knowledge of our student-athletes, and help bring the program to the next level.”

Crowley spent the previous 20 seasons at St. Bonaventure, including each of the last 16 seasons as the program’s head coach (2000-16).  During his tenure at St. Bonaventure, Crowley posted 20-or-more wins in six of the last eight seasons.  He is a three-time Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year (2009, 2012 and 2014), and also was honored as ESPN.com National Coach of the Year in 2012.

He was responsible for guiding the program to its first 20+ win season and first-ever post-season appearance in 2009, advancing to the WNIT Quarterfinals.  Since then, Crowley guided the Bonnies to six post-season appearances overall, including two invitations to the NCAA Tournament in 2012 (Sweet 16) and 2016 (Second Round).  St. Bonaventure also qualified for the WNIT in 2010, 2011 and 2014.

Crowley guided St. Bonaventure to its first NCAA Tournament appearance in 2012.  The Bonnies advanced to the Sweet 16 with victories over Florida Gulf Coast and Marist before falling to Notre Dame, who eventually went on to compete in the National Championship game.  The Bonnies completed the year with a 31-4 record and earned the program’s first-ever Atlantic 10 regular season title with a perfect 14-0 record.  Additionally, St. Bonaventure’s 31 wins set a program record.  For his efforts, Crowley was named ESPN.com National Coach of the Year.

During the 2015-16 campaign, Crowley guided St. Bonaventure to its second appearance all-time in the NCAA Tournament and posted a 24-8 overall record.  In league play, the team compiled a 12-4 mark.  St. Bonaventure entered tournament play as a No. 10 seed and upset seventh-seeded Oklahoma State, 65-54, in the NCAA First Round.  The Bonnies fell to eventual NCAA Final Four participant Oregon State in the Second Round.

“We are very excited to announce Jim Crowley as our women’s basketball coach,” Driscoll said. “We believe that Jim fits all the criteria we looked for in a coach to build our women’s basketball program.  Over the last five years we have brought in some very successful coaches and we feel that Jim has a similar pedigree.  He’s a proven winner, as he built St. Bonaventure into a consistently successful program in the Atlantic 10 and on a national level.  Our goal for the Friar women’s basketball program is to win a BIG EAST Championship and compete in the NCAA Tournament.”

Crowley was responsible for mentoring and developing nine players who earned Atlantic 10 All-Conference honors a total of 18 times.  He also coached one Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year, one Atlantic 10 Sixth Woman of the Year, one Atlantic 10 Most Improved Player and three Atlantic 10 All-Rookie Team selections.

Crowley spent four years as an assistant women’s coach on the Bonnies’ bench before taking the lead role in March of 2000. As an assistant under Marti Whitmore, he helped secure double-digit winning seasons for the Brown and White in each of his four seasons as Whitmore’s top aid.

Prior to his arrival at St. Bonaventure, Crowley spent three seasons as the head women’s basketball coach at his alma mater, Keuka College. The Windsor, N.Y. native compiled a 39-37 record at the Division III school. In his second season, the Storm posted a record of 18-10 en route to a spot in the ECAC Championship.

A 1993 graduate of Keuka, Crowley received a bachelor’s degree in secondary English education. As an undergraduate student, he was a four-year letterman in men’s basketball and captained the club in his final three seasons on the court.

Crowley and his wife, Monti, are the parents of a three-year old daughter, Jocelyn, and three stepsons - Patrick, 27, Sean, 25, and Luke, 20.

“I’m so thankful to Father Shanley, Bob Driscoll and Jill LaPoint for this incredible opportunity,” Crowley said.  “Providence College is a special place, but I had no idea how special until I spent time on campus and with members of the Friar community.  This is an opportunity that I could not pass up.  My family and I can’t wait to join Friartown.”

Below is the press release from St. Bonaventure:

After 16 seasons of unprecedented success, St. Bonaventure University women's basketball head coach Jim Crowley has announced that he is stepping down from the position to accept the same position at Providence College.

As St. Bonaventure's coach, Crowley led the program to a 258-231 overall record. Since the 2008-09 season, the Bonnies have posted 21 or more victories six times including two NCAA Tournament appearances and four WNIT berths. Crowley's teams have had only one losing season since 2006-07 including a 171-90 record since the 2008-09 campaign.

The fifth coach in 43 seasons of women's basketball at St. Bonaventure, Crowley is far and away the winningest coach in program history, owning 123 more victories than any other Bona coach.

"First and foremost, we cannot thank Jim enough for what he's done for St. Bonaventure University and the women's basketball program," said Athletics Director Tim Kenney. "His dedication and work ethic inspired the program to an amazing run of success both on the court and in the classroom. He persevered through some tough times, never wavered in his beliefs, and led the program to new heights. He is the embodiment of what it means to be a Bonnie. While we hate to see them move on, we congratulate Jim and (his wife) Monti and wish them nothing but the best."

"It's a bittersweet time because I've always dreamed of coaching in the Big East but so much of my heart is with Bonaventure and the Olean community," Crowley said. "I can never thank the University, the fans, the alums, the community enough, but mostly I can't thank all of our players enough because they are the ones who made all of our success possible. (Providence) was just an opportunity I couldn't pass up."

This past season, Crowley directed Bona to a 24-8 record and a spot in the NCAA Round of 32 following a first round victory over Oklahoma State. St. Bonaventure finished 16-0 at the Reilly Center and went 12-4 in the Atlantic 10. Senior Katie Healy was named to the first team All-Conference and completed her career fourth all-time in school history in scoring, third in rebounding and first in blocked shots.

In 2011-12, Crowley led the Bonnies to a school-best 31-4 mark and a perfect 14-0 record in Atlantic 10 play, a year that culminated in a trip to the NCAA Sweet 16.

He was recognized as the 2012 ESPN.com National Coach of the Year and was also named the Basketball Coaches Association of New York Division I Coach of the Year that spring. He is also a three-time Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year, earning that recognition from his peers in 2009, 2012 and 2014. He oversaw the program's first-ever national ranking during the 2012 season, and the Bonnies again received votes in the Associated Press Top 25 this past year.

Crowley stands sixth all-time in Atlantic 10 coaching victories with 108. He has coached 12 St. Bonaventure players to All-Atlantic 10 honors and since 2006, three players that were coached by Crowley have gone on to sign professional contracts.

The Bonnies have been equally as successful in the classroom during Crowley's tenure. Four times in the past eight years, St. Bonaventure has been on the Women's Basketball Coaches Association Top 25 Academic Honor Roll.

A national search for a new head coach will begin immediately, Kenney said.

"This program has never been in better shape," Kenney said, "and we are well-positioned to attract strong candidates for the head coaching job. Our student-athletes, fans, supporters and the alumni of the program deserve nothing less."


Follow Shawn Stepner on Twitter:  @StepnerWKBW