GLASGOW — Blake Crabtree, a 2008 graduate of Barren County High School and former Trojan baseball standout, was announced as the new Barren County baseball coach Wednesday in the BCHS auditorium.
The stage was full of sports memorabilia — awards, helmets, a varsity jacket and pictures from Crabtree’s time playing for the Trojans and Western Kentucky University.
Before the announcement, Crabtree told the Glasgow Daily Times that he’s very excited to come back home.
To coach where he grew up, “you have a lot of passion and love for it,” Crabtree said. “It’s always good to come back home.
“You look forward to it. It’s something that, moving forward, you’re going to invest into it more than any other place that you have and you’re going to work harder than you ever have.
“There’s a lot of support here. So it’s going to be good coming back home.”
Crabtree, 28, spent three seasons as the head coach for Russellville and was most recently the assistant coach at Bowling Green. Last season, the Purples (22-12) won the Region 4 championship and made it to the final eight in the state tournament.
While Crabtree was a student-athlete at BCHS, he played three sports — football, basketball and baseball. His senior year, the Trojan baseball team won the District 15 title, as well as the Region 4 championship.
Barren County Athletic Director Warren Cunningham told the Daily Times that Crabtree is living proof that exceptional talent can be found right here in Glasgow, and that hard work pays off.
“I think it just shows what you can do,” Cunningham said. “He’s a great example of a guy that played three sports — not just played, but excelled in three sports — obviously his best one was baseball, but he worked really hard.
“He’s a great, great competitor, and the way he approached it was a big reason why he was able to continue to play (in college).”
Cunningham said he thinks Crabtree’s leadership is a big part of why he was able to become the head coach for Russellville “at like 24, 25 years old.”
“I think he’s going to be a great mentor to our guys,” Cunningham said. “And I think it just shows what somebody from here can do when they work hard.”
Crabtree said he is coming into a great situation.
“These guys have won three of the last four district tournaments, so it’s not that they need to do something different or anything like that,” he said. “We just have to keep on going. We have to keep going, keep working.”
Crabtree said he hopes to instill good work ethic into his players “and get after it.”