published Friday, April 11th, 2014

Crutcher coming home to coach at Hixson

Hixson High School has hired former City High standout Lawanza "Ricky" Crutcher to take over its boys' basketball program, the school announced Thursday.

Crutcher coached at Centennial High School in Franklin, Tenn., the last two seasons but resigned after a 20-34 mark. He played at Lee University -- then Lee College -- from 1979 to 1981 and was a Christian college All-American and inducted into Lee's Hall of Fame in 1999.

He was a two-time all-city selection and made all-state once during his career at City, averaging 17 points, 11 rebounds and five steals per game. He went to Cleveland State and was named all-conference before going to Lee, where he averaged 23 points and eight rebounds per game in his two-year career.

He was inducted into the Greater Chattanooga Sports Hall of Fame in 2010.

"It's a wonderful opportunity for me to come back home," Crutcher said. "I prefer a variation of styles -- not just one set style. Once I evaluate the talent, we'll develop our styles from there. I've had a lot of time dealing with college coaches from large programs that have helped me develop my skills."

He has 374 wins in his high school coaching career, with previous stops at Lassiter and Sprayberry in Marietta, Ga., and Stephenson in Stone Mountain. At Hixson he succeeds Alex Disbrow, who resigned in March after six seasons with the 6-AA program.

"I think it's an outstanding achievement, and we feel grateful and fortunate to hire a coach of his caliber," Hixson athletic directory Brian Bray said. "He works well with young men and he has great character. We're excited, he's excited and the kids are excited. To be able to bring a Chattanooga native back with his career and with what he can offer is unbelievable. We consider that a huge plus, and we're excited for the opportunity."

Contact Gene Henley at ghenley@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6311. Follow him at twitter.com/genehenleytfp.

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