New ECHS OL coach loves game of football

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Football is Devin Crawford’s passion.

Crawford will use his passion and love for football as Escambia County’s offensive line coach.

Crawford comes to ECHS from Munford High School, where he also coached the line.

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This will be Crawford’s third year as a paid coach. He played football at the University of North Alabama, and upon graduation, was called by Bill Smith to coach at MHS. Crawford has a connection with Smith as he was his coach at Satsuma High School.

Crawford also has a connection with ECHS head football coach Rico Jackson as Jackson was on Smith’s coaching staff at SHS.

“I coached there (MHS) for two years and had a lot of success our first year,” he said.

MHS lost in the state semifinals in 2015, and finished in the first round last season.

Crawford, a Mobile native, said he’s wanted to come down this way for some time.

“I graduated from high school in 2009, and when Rico got the head-coaching job here, I really hoped for a while that he would call me to come and coach here,” he said. “That ended up happening.”

Crawford said when he got the call, he knew it was time to move closer to home.

The new coach got into coaching because he knew he wanted to be around the game.

“Like any college athlete, the initial plan was the opportunity to play professional football,” Crawford said. “Unfortunately, that wasn’t in the cards for me, so my contingency plan was to be a football coach. Football is my passion. If I wasn’t going to play it, I wanted to be a part of it. When I got that first call to go to Munford, I knew I had to jump on that.”

Crawford said he’s lucky to have coached at a successful program before, and knows that ECHS is on its way back to being a successful program.

Each position coach coaches their players in their own style.

Crawford said coaching the offensive line, especially the center position, is different because you’ve got to teach them toughness and the ability to make adjustments on the fly.

“The center in general has not only got to be a tough athlete, but he’s got to be an intelligent athlete,” he said. “You’ve got to have a lot of trust. You’ve got to get used to your guy. I’ve been here the whole summer. I’m beginning to know them and trust the guys.”

Crawford said the center is the offensive line’s quarterback, and expects them to be dedicated to coming in early every day to learn.

Crawford said he’s blessed because he’s doing the best job in the world.

“In my opinion, it’s the best job in the world,” he said about coaching. “I can’t tell you how many guys that’ll tell you about the stories of the good old days, and they don’t get to be a part of it. I’m a part of it. Every Friday, even though I’m not on the field, you get that same excitement. You get the butterflies. Mentally, it’s all flash back stuff. I still get to live that dream.”

Crawford is married to Lorrie.