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by Terri Hogan
Senior Staff Writer
Warren Gordon Crutchfield has been synonymous with Sherwood High School athletics for decades. His absence was palpable the weekend of Oct. 4-5, when the school hosted events honoring the Sherwood Athletic Hall of Fame’s Class of 2019.
Warren Crutchfield died from a heart attack July 5 at age 82.
For 33 years, Sherwood was his home — as a teacher, coach, mentor and friend.
His daughter, La Shane Crutchfield, and her family attended the ceremony and luncheon on Oct. 5 at Norbeck Country Club.
She said they were touched by the outpouring of support and the kind words spoken about her father.
“It was strange and different not having him there with us because my father was a mentor, coach and advocate for so many,” Crutchfield said. “We definitely felt his presence in that room and he was missed.”
Warren Crutchfield was a member of the inaugural class of the Sherwood Athletic Hall of Fame, inducted in 2010.
“Not only was my father an inductee, but he was on the committee,” La Shane Crutchfield said. “Quite a few of his athletes have been inducted, and he had a huge influence on making sure that happened. He wanted to make sure that past athletes from the ’60s and ’70s were acknowledged, since records were not kept as well back then.”
La Shane Crutchfield said there have been discussion about naming Sherwood’s gymnasium in his memory and many of his athletes have offered to support the effort.
Jason Woodward, Sherwood’s athletic director, confirmed they are in the early stages of the Montgomery County Public Schools process on naming the gym after “Coach Crutchfield.”
La Shane said that her father is remembered for his motivational talks before games and practices. Many of his former athletes are now coaches and continue that tradition, sharing his words of wisdom.
She said that while her father was in the hospital, he had over 100 visitors in a single weekend, mostly former students, many who traveled from out of town.
“My father sincerely loved what he did,” she said. “Very few people really love their jobs. He was a natural-born teacher, and even after he retired, he continued to teach.”
The family is working to establish a walk/run in his name, likely to be held in Rockville, where he lived his entire life. He is buried there in the family’s cemetery.
Warren Crutchfield was born on Oct. 29, 1936, in Washington, D.C. He graduated from Carver High School in 1952, the only black high school in Montgomery County at that time. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in physical education and a minor in sociology from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES.)
While attending college, he played football and ran track and later was inducted into the UMES Hall of Fame for his success on the track. After graduation, he served in the U.S. Army for four years.
Upon returning home, he was hired by Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS).
His career at Sherwood included coaching boys’ and girls’ basketball, cross country and track teams.
Some of his many accolades include Teacher of the Year, first teacher in MCPS to speak at a high school graduation, girls’ basketball and track Coach of the Year, the Mann Award from the Montgomery Journal newspaper for Outstanding Educator of the Year and the Greater Olney Civic Association’s Contribution to the Community award.
He also coached at several other public and private schools in the county.
While the Olney community is where he worked, the City of Rockville was Warren Crutchfield’s home. He served on the Human Relations Commission, was an active member at Jerusalem Mount Pleasant United Methodist Church and the Lincoln Park Hall of Fame Committee, where he is inducted, as well, and other organizations.
He received the City of Rockville’s Good Neighbor Award, the Montgomery County Award for Historic Preservation for Rockville’s Haiti Cemetery and was named a Living Legend for his work in education by Montgomery County.
Warren Crutchfield is survived by his wife of 54 years, Brenda; his daughters, La Shane Crutchfield and Nicole Crutchfield, and many other relatives and friends.
Donations can be made in his honor to the Haiti Cemetery Association at www.HaitiCemetery.org.
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