The Stars will celebrate its athletic tradition during the induction of the 2014-15 group of OCU Athletic Hall of Famers 11:30 a.m. Jan. 17 in the Great Hall inside the Tom and Brenda McDaniel University Center.
The newest Hall of Fame class consists of baseball coach Denney Crabaugh and the 1994 national championship softball team.
Tickets to the ceremony cost $25. If interested, contact Stacy Heperi at (405) 208-5309 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Crabaugh will be also be inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame on Jan. 3, 2015 in Orlando, Fla. He already has membership in the NAIA Hall of Fame and the Oklahoma Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame. Crabaugh has compiled a record of 1,268-398-2 (.761 winning percentage) in 26 years as the Star’s coach.
“To be good one year is one thing, but to be consistently great over the course of 20-plus years is truly special,” said alum Kirk Walker, who was the 2011 NAIA player of the year. “The numbers speak for themselves. It shows the hard work and dedication that is present in every hall of famer. Well deserved. Happy to be a part of it.”
“It was an honor and privilege to play for Denney. The things he has accomplished at OCU are outstanding. This honor is well deserved. I’m happy for him and his family,” Alum Miguel Beltran, the 2012 NAIA player of the year, said.
Crabaugh has coached the Stars to the 2005 national championship and three NAIA runner-up finishes in 12 trips to the NAIA World Series. The Stars won an NAIA single-season record 73 wins in 2004.
Crabaugh has directed the Stars to 10 Sooner Athletic Conference championships, nine SAC Tournament crowns, four Opening Round titles, five super regional titles, five regional championships, three area titles and two district crowns. The Stars reeled off 12 consecutive 50-win seasons from 1999-2010 and have the NAIA’s winningest program since 1991.
Crabaugh is the sixth coach ever to be named ABCA NAIA coach of the year twice – in 2003 and ’05. He has also been Oklahoma Baseball Coaches Association coach of the year in 1992, 2002 and 2005.
The Stars have taken NAIA scholar team four times. In 1987, Crabaugh came to OCU as assistant coach to the late Charley Lodes. Crabaugh has coached 80 all-Americans, 62 NAIA scholar-athletes, 10 CoSIDA academic all-Americans, seven NAIA players of the year, four NAIA Hall of Famers, 64 Major League Baseball draftees and 132 future professionals at OCU.
Crabaugh began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Southeastern Oklahoma State and also coached in Ada, Okla., on the high school level.
OCU’s 1994 softball team captured the first of eight NAIA championships the softball program has won. The Lady Chiefs wrapped up the national title with a 3-1 victory over Athens State, Ala. on May 21, 1994 at the Rainbow Softball Center in Columbia, Mo. Sue Fairhurst provided OCU with all its runs in the contest with a third-inning three-run home run, her 25th of the year, over the center-field fence. Fairhurst struck out eight and allowed four hits. The Stars finished 52-8 and also won the NAIA Bi-District VI and NAIA District Nine crowns. The Lady Chiefs stood atop the NAIA rankings from the start of the season to the finish. OCU had a national runner-up finish in 1993.
“It’s a big release of pressure,” CoachPhil McSpadden told The Oklahoman after the title-game victory. “We’ve been here so many times, and we didn’t get the job done. We feel like we’ve created a monster at OCU – they expect us to win.”
Fairhurst went 13-2 as a freshman for that team and took all-American accolades. The Stars had five all-Americans on the 1994 team – Fairhurst, junior pitcher Tammy Braithwaite, junior third baseman Tracey Mosley, sophomore catcher Jenifer Wells and senior shortstop Kim Wilson. The all-tournament team for the 1994 NAIA Championships included Braithwaite, Fairhurst, Mosley, Wells, Tuesday Butcher and Mindi Wilson of OCU. Mosley set six tournament records on the way to becoming tournament most valuable player.