Crowton Named BYU Head Football Coach

Gary Crowton, new Head Football Coach at Brigham Young University

PROVO -- Gary Crowton, Chicago Bears' offensive coordinator and former head coach at Louisiana Tech, today was introduced by Brigham Young University President Merrill J. Bateman as the 13th head football coach at BYU.

"As we begin a new era of football at BYU, I can think of no other person who is as qualified and prepared to take over a program that has been under the direction of a living legend in LaVell Edwards, than Gary Crowton," said Bateman. "This is a wonderful day in the history of our tremendous athletics program."

Crowton, a native of Orem, Utah, will take over a BYU program that has been under the direction of college football's sixth all-time winningest coach, LaVell Edwards. Edwards took over the program in 1972, coaching the Cougars to a 257-101-3 (.716).

"This is an exciting time for me and my family," Crowton said. "I have always dreamed of coaching at BYU. To be able to follow in the footsteps of a legend like LaVell Edwards is both incredibly humbling and challenging. I pledge to BYU fans that I will devote my energy to continuing BYU's winning football tradition."

The Crowton File

* Age: 43

* Hometown: Orem, Utah

* Wife: Maren Peterson (Bountiful, Utah)

* Married: Aug. 3, 1985 (Salt Lake LDS Temple)

* Children: Dane (14), Tara (12), Jenessa (9), Quinn (6),

Mikauli (4) and Toriana (8 months)

* Mission: South Korea (1979-81)

* Education: Graduated Orem High School, 1975;

Bachelor's degree from Brigham Young, 1983.

* Playing Experience:

- Quarterback at Orem High School (All-State)

- Quarterback at Snow College (All-American)

- Quarterback and receiver at Colorado State

(Most Versatile Athlete honors).

Crowton, 43, comes to BYU with a long and proven list of coaching accomplishments. Prior to serving the past two seasons as the offensive coordinator with the NFL's Chicago Bears, where his offense ranked third in the NFL in passing yardage last season, Crowton was head coach at Louisiana Tech from 1996-1998. There he guided the Bulldogs to a 21-13 (.618) record over three seasons, including a 9-2 mark in 1997. The Bulldogs' nine wins in Crowton's second season as head coach marked the most victories in the program's Division I-A history, including the most number of overall wins in over 12 years.

"Gary is a very articulate, hard-working football coach and will do a great job," Edwards said. "He has an excellent understanding of the game. From the opportunities I have had to work with Gary, I've always known he had the potential to be a very good coach. Everyone he's worked with has given him a glowing report."

Competing as an independent for three straight years, Louisiana Tech recorded wins over the likes of Mississippi State, Cal and Alabama. Using its Crowton-designed, high-powered offense, the program also recorded impressive wins by scoring 50-or-more points against eight different opponents, including games of 60-or-more points in five different games. Crowton's offense ranked third in the nation, both in passing and total offense, while the Bulldogs racked up 12,746 yards passing in three years, an average of 4,249 yards per season. The prolific Tech offense also produced 115 touchdown receptions, averaging 38.3 TDs per season. Under Crowton, NFL first-round draft pick Troy Edwards recorded a school-record 280 receptions and 4,352 yards receiving. Over a span of 34 games, Crowton's offense at Louisiana Tech engineered 22 different 300-yard passing games, including school-record 10, 300-yard outings during the 1998 season. In 1998, Crowton's final season at Louisiana Tech, the Bulldogs combined for a school-record 4,943 yards passing.

"We are thrilled Gary is coming home to Utah Valley," BYU Athletics Director Val Hale said. "He has an impressive list of coaching accomplishments, and I am confident he will continue the great tradition established by LaVell Edwards. He employs a wide-open offensive philosophy that is sure to excite the fans. BYU and Gary Crowton are a perfect match."

Crowton's coaching career actually began in 1982 as a student assistant under Edwards at BYU. While at BYU he worked with current Seattle Seahawks head coach Mike Holmgren and future NFL Hall of Famer, Steve Young. From BYU, Crowton moved on to Snow College in Ephraim, Utah, where he coached from 1983-86. While at Snow College, Crowton moved from defensive backs coach to offensive coordinator. Under his offensive leadership, the Badgers won the National Junior College Athletic Association National Championship in 1985.

Year-by-Year Coaching Experience

- Student Assistant Coach, Brigham Young; 1982

- Volunteer Assistant Coach, Snow College; 1983

- Offensive Coordinator, Snow College; 1984

- Offensive Coordinator, Snow College; 1985

- Offensive Coordinator, Snow College; 1986

- Passing Coordinator, Western Illinois; 1987

- Offensive Coordinator, New Hampshire; 1988

- Offensive Coordinator, New Hampshire; 1989

- Offensive Coordinator, New Hampshire; 1990

- Quarterbacks, Boston College; 1991

- Quarterbacks, Boston College; 1992

- Quarterbacks, Boston College; 1993

- Co-offensive Coordinator, Georgia Tech; 1994

- Offensive Coordinator, Louisiana Tech; 1995

- Head Coach, Louisiana Tech; 1996 (6-5)

- Head Coach, Louisiana Tech; 1997 (9-2)

- Head Coach, Louisiana Tech; 1998 (6-6)

- Offensive Coordinator, Chicago Bears; 1999

- Offensive Coordinator, Chicago Bears; 2000

From Snow College, Crowton moved to Western Illinois where he directed the Leathernecks' passing game for a single season. In 1988 Crowton was hired as the offensive coordinator at New Hampshire, where the Wildcats were the top-rated passing team in the Yankee Conference from 1988-90.

In 1991, Crowton was hired as the quarterback coach at Boston College under head coach Tom Coughlin. There he helped develop quarterback Glenn Foley as a candidate for the Heisman Trophy. After three successful seasons with the Eagles, Crowton was hired as the co-offensive coordinator at Georgia Tech, where his offense led the Yellow Jackets to a No. 21 national ranking in his first and only season in Atlanta. In 1995, Crowton was hired as the offensive coordinator at Louisiana Tech, where he would become the head coach the following season.

Crowton was an all-state quarterback at Orem High School before earning All-American honors at Snow College. Crowton transferred to Colorado State where he finished his career at wide receiver. Following an LDS Church mission to South Korea, Crowton attended Idaho State where he ran track for the Bengals. After returning to BYU in 1982, Crowton earned his bachelor's degree in Physical education in 1983.

Crowton, who is the first-ever head football coach at BYU to serve an LDS Church mission, is married to the former Maren Peterson of Bountiful, Utah. The couple was married on August 3, 1985. The Crowtons have six children, Dane (14), Tara (12), Jenessa (9), Quinn (6), Mikauli (4) and Toriana (8 months).

"The most important things in my life are my family and my church," Crowton said. "It is a great feeling to know no matter what happens on the field, I will always have my family to be there and it's always a nice feeling to go home to my family."

What They Are Saying ...

Athletic Director Val Hale and BYU President Merrill J. Bateman unveil a number one jersey for new BYU Coach Gary Crowton (Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

"Gary really took over our program at the point where we were struggling and did some great things. He really leveled the playing field for us with a lot of the top national football powers. He did all the things necessary in building a program."

- Jim Oakes, Louisiana Tech Athletics Director

"He was like a sponge. He was going to learn everything from everyone he could. Everyone he's worked with has given him a glowing report."

- LaVell Edwards, Former BYU Head Coach

"He's the most phenomenally innovative offensive mind to come around in a long time. He has a brilliant ability to pick people apart, including very experienced defensive coordinators."

- Dr. Jerry Punch, ESPN Analyst

BYU names Gary Crowton as head football coach (Bill Smith/Bears Staff Photographer)

"He's so confident, he makes you feel the same level of confidence. He knows how to talk to players on their level."

- Marcus Robinson, Chicago Bears wide receiver

"Tech is indebted to him. Football exploded there. Fifty schools were flying in to learn what we were doing on offense - Purdue, Colorado, Tulane. It's like he has an extra chip in his brain. We'd be watching a film [at Louisiana Tech] and Gary would stop the film and say, 'Isn't that just beautiful?' And he'd get up and draw some exotic formation, and we'd say, 'How did you get that out of what we just saw on the film?'"

- Clint Conque, Former running backs coach at Louisiana Tech

"Gary gets so into his thinking he just shuts off everything else. Sometimes when he talked to me, at first I didn't think we were talking about the same play. Then I'd realize he was thinking ahead to the next thing already. He sees the big picture."

- Cade McNown, Chicago Bears quarterback

"Gary has always struck me as a coach that had the kid's interest at heart. I know his players loved playing for him and not just because of the wide-open offense he ran which made the games a lot of fun for them. The student-athletes at Louisiana Tech had tremendous experiences under his guidance."

- Craig Thompson, Mountain West Conference Commissioner

Crowton's Head Coaching Record vs. Opponents

Opponent W L Score, Last Meeting

Alabama 1 0 26-20, 1997

Alabama-Birmingham 3 0 54-23, 1998

Arkansas 0 2 13-17, 1997

Arkansas State 2 1 69-21, 1998

Auburn 0 2 17-32, 1998

Baylor 0 1 16-24, 1996

Boise State 2 0 63-28, 1998

Bowling Green 1 0 30-23, 1997

California 1 0 41-34, 1997

Central Florida 0 1 30-64, 1998

Central Michigan 2 0 56-28, 1997

Middle Tennessee St. 1 0 20-0, 1996

Mississippi State 1 0 38-23, 1996

Nebraska 0 1 27-56, 1998

Nicholls State 1 0 56-28, 1998

Northeast La. 2 0 44-14, 1998

Northern Illinois 1 0 40-14, 1996

Southwestern La. 2 1 77-14, 1998

Texas A & M 0 2 7-28, 1998

Toledo 1 0 61-20, 1996

Tulane 0 1 30-63, 1998

Wyoming 0 1 19-31, 1998