Tompkins Cortland Community College alum and former professional baseball player Billy Crowe has been named the new head coach for Panthers baseball. Crowe replaces Ryan Stevens, who had been the head coach the past five years before leaving for the same post at Wells College.
"It is a privilege and an honor to be able to take over Tompkins Cortland's baseball program," said Crowe. "I am excited to continue working with the school to help build on the foundation that Pat Carroll and Ryan Stevens have established. I know I have big shoes to fill, but I have the utmost confidence that I can help continue to grow this program in the right direction. This College has a special place in my heart because it has opened so many doors for me over the last decade."
Crowe was an all-conference catcher while playing for Carroll during his playing career with the Panthers. A 2011 graduate of the College, he was part of the first Tompkins Cortland baseball team to qualify for the NJCAA playoffs, and his name is still prevalent in the school's record book, including having the best fielding percentage for a season and second best for a career. He has the second-most career putouts in Panthers history and ranks in the top-ten career lists for stolen bases, walks, and runs scored. He continued his studies at Virginia Wesleyan University, playing for Nick Boothe, one of the most successful Division III coaches in the nation at the time with more than 600 career victories.
After finishing his playing at Virginia Wesleyan, Crowe spent two years playing professionally for the Alpine Cowboys in the independent Pecos League. It was during the offseason between his professional seasons that Crowe started his coaching career, working both at Cox High School in Virginia Beach and assisting Coach Boothe at Virginia Wesleyan. He returned to New York to work with the Panthers in 2014-15 and has been the top assistant for Coach Stevens the last five seasons.
"Coach Crowe cares about Tompkins Cortland Community College, Panthers Baseball, and the student- athletes he works with as much as anyone I know. His experiences here as a student-athlete and coach give him a solid foundation to build on," said Director of Athletics Mick McDaniel. "Thanks to the hard work of Coach Stevens and Coach Crowe last year, we have an excellent group of young men ready to get out on the field right away. A program is only as good as the coach that manages and cares for it. With Coach Crowe leading the way, we know that our Panthers Baseball program is in outstanding hands."
"Baseball has been my passion since I was a little boy, first as a player and now as a coach," said Crowe. "I was never the most talented player on any of my teams but I was relentless in my preparation and my drive to play. That is why I was given the chance to play after my four years of college, and this is the reason I coach - to pass on to these young men what all my coaches and this beautiful sport have given to me. My job as a coach is to teach the sport, but more importantly, help our students turn into well-rounded men that are successful in life as well as on the field. I'm looking forward to doing that at Tompkins Cortland."