Denney Crabaugh, head baseball coach, will leave behind the legacy he’s always dreamed of when he retires.
The Denney Crabaugh Endowment will be invested permanently to benefit OCU baseball and provide funds toward the program’s needs such as scholarships, equipment and travel.
“Coach Crabaugh has given countless hours to build our nationally prominent program, positively impacting the lives of hundreds of young men in the process,” Athletic Director Jim Abbott said in a press release.
“This endowment is an important step toward securing the future of the program and will be a perpetual reminder of Coach Crabaugh’s legacy at OCU.”
Crabaugh is in his 30th year at OCU and said he has known he wanted the baseball team to have an endowment before he retired so that he could leave behind a legacy that will last forever.
Crabaugh has no intention of retiring anytime soon.
An endowment is a financial account that builds interest which can be used to help the program have money to use as long as that program exists.
Crabaugh has been raising money through his “The Bottom of the Ninth” fundraising campaign to start the endowment and build the baseball team a larger indoor practice space on campus, but the university created an endowment for the team in Summer 2015.
OCU requires a minimum of $10,000 to start an endowment and allows a pre-determined spending rate that is set by the board of trustees.
“It was an incredible gesture from the university to me and the entire baseball team,” Crabaugh said. “The school, out of kindness, decided to do that, and I’m very, deeply honored.”
The endowment will benefit the team by providing enough money for whatever the coach needs in future years.
Players purchase their own gear, but the endowment could enable the coach to provide it instead. It also could help provide food and travel when on the road so the team does not have to fundraise as much.
“The endowment is a testament to countless years of hard work Coach Crabaugh has put in on and off the field throughout the process of building OCU into a national baseball powerhouse,” Senior Infielder Hunter Marcum said. “This endowment will help OCU baseball greatly in the efforts to raise funds for scholarships and other sports-related costs.”
Marcum also said the endowment will give Crabaugh another outlet to continue to build the program in the direction it needs to go.
The team’s first game isn’t until February, but Crabaugh and Marcum agree that this season is one to look forward to.
Crabaugh said it is the best group of talent the program has had in years.
Marcum said the team has a good mix of quality returners and talented new additions.
“This season has the potential to be a very special one,” Marcum said.
Crabaugh is a member of the Oklahoma Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame, OCU Athletics Hall of Fame, NAIA Hall of Fame, and the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
Crabaugh has produced 135 professional players, 66 Major League Baseball draftees, 80 all-Americans, 57 NAIA scholar-athletes, 13 CoSIDA academic all-Americans, and seven national player of the year award winners.
National League batting champion Freddy Sanchez, Joe Bisenius and Chris Schroder are a few of the alums Crabaugh coached to the major league.
“I want to thank Jim Abbott and Oklahoma City University for making this dream come true. Next to being inducted into the OCU Athletic Hall of Fame, it is the greatest honor the university could have given me,” Crabaugh said in a press release.