Jim Crews

Photo: Indiana Athletics

Jim Crews Biography

James S. Crews is a former basketball player from Normal, Illinois who played for Indiana University. He played guard under former head coach Bob Knight for four years (1972-1976). He was part of the 1976 undefeated NCAA Championship winning team under Knight.

After he graduated, he served under Knight for eight years before coaching University of Evansville, Army, and Saint Louis. His best years coaching came at Saint Louis after being promoted to the position after health concerns and death of Rick Majerus. He was eventually fired in 2016 after failing to reach the tournament and having two 11-21 seasons in a row for the Billikens.

  • Name: James S. Crews
  • Position: Guard
  • Nationality: USA
  • Age: 66 years old
  • Birthday: February 14, 1954
  • Hometown: Normal, Illinois
  • High School: University High School (Normal, Illinois)
  • Height: 6’5″ (196 cm)
  • Weight: 195 lb (88 kg)
  • Seasons: 4 (1972-1976)
  • Jersey: #45

Awards and Accolades

As Player
  • 1976 Undefeated NCAA Championship
As Coach
  • 4x MCC Regular Season Champions (’87, ’89, ’92, ’93)
  • 2x MCC Tournament (’92, ’93)
  • MVC Regular Season Champion (’99)
  • 2x Atlantic 10 Regular Season Champion (’13, ’14)
  • Atlantic 10 Tournament Champion (’13)
  • 3x MCC Coach of the Year (’87, ’89, ’92)
  • MVC Coach of the Year (’99)
  • 2x Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year (’13, ’14)
  • Sporting News National Coach of the Year (’13)
  • NABC Coach of the Year (’13)

Jim Crews Recruiting Profile

Indiana University

Jim Crews went to high school at University High School in Normal, Illinois. He played basketball for the Pioneers and played basketball for their high school team.

He was a starter for University High’s 1971 super-sectional team. He was recruited to play for Indiana out of high school by legendary coach Mike Krzyzewski who was serving as an assistant under Bob Knight at this time.

Crews decided to go to Indiana to play for Bob Knight and the Hoosiers and benefited from the rule change that allowed freshman to play in their first year at the university.

Jim Crews’ Seasons with the Hoosiers

1972-1973 Indiana Basketball Season
Bob Knight (2nd Season)
22-6 (11-3 Big Ten)
🏆 1st Place Big Ten
🏅 NCAA Final Four
1973-1974 Indiana Basketball Season
Bob Knight (3rd Season)
23-5 (12-2 Big Ten)
🏆 1st Place Big Ten
🏆 CCA Tournament Champions
1974-1975 Indiana Basketball Season
Bob Knight (4th Season)
31-1 (18-0 Big Ten)
🏆 1st Place Big Ten
🏅 NCAA Elite Eight
1975-1976 Indiana Basketball Season
Bob Knight (5th Season)
32-0 (18-0 Big Ten)
🏆 1st Place Big Ten
🏆 NCAA Champions

Jim Crews’ Indiana University Statistics

Season G FGM FGA PCT FTM FTA PCT TOT AST PTS AVG
1972-73 28 65 132 0.492 17 25 0.680 58 78 147 5.3
1973-74 22 26 57 0.456 9 13 0.692 38 56 61 2.8
1974-75 26 15 33 0.455 6 6 1.000 13 20 36 1.4
1975-76 31 36 77 0.468 30 35 0.857 23 42 102 3.3
Total 107 142 299 0.475 62 79 0.785 132 196 346 3.2

Jim Crews’ Career at Indiana University

Indiana University

Jim Crews was recruited to play at Indiana University and played under second year head coach Bob Knight. After a quick first-round exit in the 1972 NIT. Jim Crew’s and the rest of the Indiana team made it to the 1973 NCAA Tournament and the Final Four where they lost to the eventual champions UCLA, 59-70.

Indiana was not able to make the Tournament during his sophomore season due to not being the conference champions, but they made it to the Collegiate Commissioners Association Tournament and came away as champions over No. 15 USC.

The next two years were two of the best years in Hoosier basketball with Indiana ending the years 31-1 and 32-0. Indiana’s only loss came in the Final Four against rival Kentucky who eventually lost to UCLA in John Wooden’s last game.

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Jim Crews saw consistently time on the court, but did not have a very productive basketball career and he decided to continue his career as a collegiate basketball coach.

Jim Crews’ Career after Indiana University

The University News

After the perfect season, he joined Bob Knight as an assistant coach for Indiana which included another title run in 1981.

In 1985, he decided to leave Indiana University to become the new head coach of the University of Evansville Purple Aces after Dick Walters. He remained head coach from 1985-2002 and reached the NCAA Tournament four times in his time as coach. After 17 years with the Purple Aces, he left the team to join the Army for 2002-2009, a seven year span.

AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

He joined Saint Louis after contemplating retirement to be an assistant under legendary coach Rick Majerus. Majerus had health concerns arise that led to his death in 2012 resulting in the interim head coach title being awarded to Jim Crews.

Crews served as head coach from 2012-2016 and was fired after two 11-21 seasons with Saint Louis. He was awarded the Sporting News National Coach of the Year in 2013 in his first year after being given the position of head coach.

He had his “jersey” retired for University of Evansville.

Jim Crews Videos and Highlights


Contributors: Dakota Thompson