Long time coach honored for winning legacy at the school
By Andy Collier
Sports Editor, The Bolivar Bullet
When Jerry Crowe was head football coach, head baseball coach and athletic director at Bayou Academy, the school experienced some of the greatest success its ever had in athletics.
As head football coach, Crowe led the Colts to a 47-22 record with four trips to the AA State Playoffs, two conference championships and a AA State Championship in 1992. During his time as athletic director, Bayou’s sports teams were very competitive with the calendar year of 1992 being the high point of his AD stint. In 1992, Bayou won the AA State Boys Tennis Championship and the AA State Boys Track Championship to along with the football title. As head baseball coach, Crowe led the Colts to three consecutive trips to the AA State Playoffs from 1992-94 with a North AA Conference Title in 1993. Along with his duties in athletics, Crowe served as the school’s headmaster from 1991-95.
On Friday (Oct. 21) during Bayou’s home football game with the Magnolia Heights Chiefs, Crowe was given a special recognition not many people ever receive as the school named the football field “Jerry Crowe Field” in his honor.
Crowe, who was inducted into the Midsouth Association of Independent Schools Coaches’ Association Hall of Fame in 2012, was very humble when talking about the legacy he left behind at Bayou.
“I tried to do the best I could,” said Crowe who grew up in Benoit and now resides in Philadelphia, Miss.
Along with the field being named after Crowe, the 1992 football team was acknowledged at halftime as this year marked the 30th anniversary of the team winning the state championship. The Colts went 11-2 that season. They actually finished second in the North AA District standings to Magnolia Heights in the regular season. The Colts battled hard in a playoff run that saw them beat Greenville Christian 26-0 in the first round of the playoffs, Starkville 10-7 in the second round, Oak Hill 22-0 in the North AA Championship game and Centerville 21-7 in the AA State Championship game.
“I was glad we won the state championship,” said Crowe. “The players worked real hard. Overall, they gave you everything they had on every play. They went all out.”
Bayou Academy Headmaster Curt McCain, a 1993 Bayou Academy graduate who was a three-year starter under Crowe in football and played baseball for two years under him, presented Crowe with a plaque that acknowledged him and the field being named after him.
“Coach Crowe had such an impact on so many lives in his six years at Bayou Academy,” said McCain. “For me to have been under his leadership and play for him, the opportunity to present him with a plaque and the honor was a great privilege for me.”
The event was originally supposed to be a 30th anniversary celebration of the state football championship. When McCain spoke with alumni, the idea came up to name the field after Crowe for his accomplishments at the school. Former players and students that graduated during Crowe’s time at Bayou came back to honor him.
“We really wanted to celebrate Coach Crowe and the time that he was there,” said McCain. “I was glad we got some other classes back and make it bigger. We wanted to make it not so much about the team but about him.”
Before going into coaching, Crowe played college football at Mississippi State University and Delta State University. Crowe’s career in coaching and education last nearly 50 years. Some of the other schools he’s worked at are Pillow Academy, Strider Academy, Oak Hill Academy and Leake Academy. Crowe served as headmaster at Leake Academy for many years.