Crowder as coach of the Colorado Buffaloes
August 26, 1931|
Arkansas City, Kansas
|Died||September 9, 2008
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|Head coaching record|
Eddie Crowder (August 26, 1931 – September 9, 2008) was an American football player and coach. He was an All-American quarterback (QB) and safety at the University of Oklahoma (OU) in the early 1950s and a successful head coach and athletic director (AD) at the University of Colorado (CU) in the 1960s and 1970s.
He is quoted as saying "Life is boring for someone trying to achieve greatness."
Crowder was raised in Muskogee, Oklahoma and played quarterback at Muskogee Central High School, and won the state championship in 1948. He was a member of Oklahoma's first National Football Championship team in 1950, and led Oklahoma to two Big Seven titles as quarterback in 1951 and 1952 and was selected all-conference the same years. Oklahoma was 26–4–1 during the 3 years Crowder was there. He was 61 for 110 (.555) (might be 60 for 109 (.550)) with 11 touchdowns for 1189 (might be 1179) yards passing. He was drafted 9th in the second round (22nd overall) by the New York Giants in 1953, but declined due to a nerve problem in his throwing arm and served in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as quarterback of the Fort Hood team for 1953. His jersey number was 16 and was listed at 6'0" and 170 lbs.
Although selected in the 2nd round of the 1953 National Football League Draft by the New York Giants, Crowder went to Canada in 1953 and played the first half of the season with the Edmonton Eskimos, alternating starts at quarterback with Claude Arnold. He was cut by head coach Darrell Royal because of limitations on the number of American players that a team could carry past a certain date. Crowder led the Eskimos to victory in all four of his games, but Royal decided to stick with the veteran Arnold. In a game in Calgary on Sept. 5, Crowder played the full game at quarterback without throwing a single pass; all the passes were thrown by halfbacks Rollie Miles and Billy Vessels. "Easy Ed" was one of many Oklahoma grads to play for the Eskimos in the 1950s.
He was an assistant head coach for Red Blaik at Army in 1955 and for Bud Wilkinson at Oklahoma from 1956 to 1962. Crowder became the head football coach of the Buffaloes in 1963 and restored the program's respectability and earned national respect while rebuilding the program. In 1971, his team finished No. 3 in the nation with a record of 10–2, only behind Big Eight rivals Nebraska (1) and Oklahoma (2). He currently has the 3rd best record as head coach at Colorado (67–49–2 .576). His teams went to 5 bowl games while he was head coach (1967 Bluebonnet (W), 1969 Liberty (W), 1970 Liberty (L), 1971 Bluebonnet (W), 1972 Gator (L)). He assumed the AD duties in 1965, and retired from coaching in 1973. He then hired his replacement, Bill Mallory (1974–1978), and also hired Chuck Fairbanks (1978–1981) and most importantly, Colorado's all-time winningest coach Bill McCartney (93–55–5). He retired from his AD position in 1986. Jim Mora was a defensive coach for Crowder from 1968–1973.
Crowder lived in Boulder, Colorado with his wife, Kate, until his death. He maintained ties to both Oklahoma and Colorado football programs, and helped select Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops and Colorado head coach Dan Hawkins. He was also a voter in the Harris College Football Poll. Crowder battled Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2003.
Head coaching record
|Colorado Buffaloes (Big Eight Conference) (1963–1973)|
|#Rankings from final Coaches Poll.
°Rankings from final AP Poll.
Awards and honors
- NCAA Division I-A National Champion (OU) 1950
- All-Conference (Big-Seven) 1951, 1952
- All-American, 1952
- Colorado Sports Hall of Fame, 1990
- Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame, 2003
- University of Colorado athletic hall of fame, 2004
- FWAA Citation of Honor, 2007
- Wyatt, Hugh (2000-02-04). "February 4, 2000 news". Retrieved 2007-08-22.
- Tom Kensler (2008-09-10). "Former CU coach Crowder dies". The Denver Post. Retrieved 2008-09-10.
- "The Harris Interactive College Football Poll - 2006 panelists". HarrisInteractive.com. Harris Interactive. 2006-12-03. Retrieved 2007-08-22.
- Armstrong, Jim (2004-01-30). "Crowder counts blessings" (PDF). Denver Post. Retrieved 2007-08-22.[dead link]
- Camera staff (2007-08-09). "Former CU coach Crowder receives prestigious honor". DailyCamera.com. Retrieved 2007-08-09.[dead link]
- Kensler, Tom (2007-08-09). "Buffs like fast-break football". Denver Post. Retrieved 2007-08-22.