Lawanza Crutcher has been in the basketball coaching business most of his life, but he's really excited over the opportunity to finally come back home.
Crutcher was an All-State player for the City High Dynamos back in the mid-70s before graduating in 1977. He's had several big-time coaching jobs in recent years, mostly in the Atlanta area, but he'll be coming home as the newest coach for the Hixson boys.
The 54-year-old Crutcher was most recently the boys coach at Centennial High School in Franklin, but he was more than interested when the Wildcat position came open after coach Alex Disbrow stepped down following this past season.
"I'm really excited about finally coming back home as the rest of my family lives in Chattanooga," Crutcher said Thursday evening when contacted by telephone.
"A wonderful opportunity has come my way and I just want to use my talent to develop the players at Hixson. They have never been known as a powerhouse in basketball, so it will be a tremendous challenge for me to build a program that will be recognized as a good one.
"I got a chance to meet most of the other coaches at Hixson today and I'm really looking forward to getting started," the former Cleveland State and Lee University graduate continued.
Hixson athletic director Brian Bray was really happy to report this latest development in the Wildcat athletic program.
"What a wonderful opportunity for our kids to play for a coach of his caiber with more than 20 years of experience," Bray began.
"He's a Chattanooga guy and he's coming home. We're all really excited. He's well known in the community and across the state and he's a proven coach. We're moving forward. He's had a winning record everywhere he's been and we're thankful to have someone like him on our staff," Bray concluded.
The Wildcats compete in District 6-AA. Other teams in that district include Brainerd, Central, Howard, East Ridge, Red Bank and Tyner.
(Email John Hunt at nomarathonmoose@Comcast.net)