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ESPN names Crowley as National Coach of the Year

ESPN names Crowley as National Coach of the Year

On Friday, March 9, named St. Bonaventure women's basketball coach Jim Crowley as its National Coach of the Year. Crowley has led the No. 16/25 Bonnies to a program-record 29 wins, first Atlantic 10 Conference regular-season crown and first visit to the A-10 Championship title game. Bonaventure, which sits at 29-3, is all but assured a spot in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history. The brackets will be unveiled Monday evening at 7 on ESPN, and a viewing party will be held in the Reilly Center. More information can be found here.

Take St. Bonaventure to the NCAA tournament? Lead that school into the top 25 and to an undefeated regular-season championship in the Atlantic 10? Make the Bonnies -- the Bonnies -- nationally relevant?

Nobody was supposed to be able to do that. But Jim Crowley did.

Rewind the tape six years, and if St. Bonaventure wasn't the worst women's program in Division I, you could see the bottom of the ladder from where it sat -- making that basement, frankly, about the only thing close to Olean, N.Y.

Seemingly out of its depth in the near-major Atlantic 10 as a school of about 2,000 about 75 miles south of Buffalo, St. Bonaventure began playing Division I women's basketball in 1986. By the time the 2005-06 season wrapped up, the Bonnies owned a 219-339 record in the highest level. That record of futility included just four winning seasons, the grandest of which was a 16-12 campaign. Needless to say, they had no NCAA tournament appearances.

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