Photo by Derrick Mahone
Eagle’s Landing coach Clay Crump has guided the Golden Eagles to a 54-9 record and back-to-back semifinals appearances the past two seasons.
MCDONOUGH - After eight seasons as Eagle’s Landing High’s basketball coach – the most recent netting him the school’s first hoops state title – Clay Crump is leaving the McDonough school to take over the program at Harrison High, a AAAAAA school in Cobb County.
Crump, who’s Golden Eagles completed a dominating run through the 2012-13 season by defeating three-time state champion Columbia 61-47 to clinch the Class AAAA crown, said he felt the moment was right to explore a change in scenery.
“I felt that it was a great time to just evaluate where I was personally,” Crump said. “With winning the championship I feel like we kind of finished what we started here and we’re leaving the program in good hands and strong standing.”
Crump compiled a 143-85 record and made four state playoff appearances during his Golden Eagles tenure, including three straight trips to the semifinals – impressive, considering Eagle’s Landing was a program that had averaged just four wins a season when Crump arrived.
In addition, five of his seven seniors have signed scholarships to play college ball, including South Carolina signee Desmond Ringer.
At Harrison, he inherits a program just two seasons removed from a semifinals appearance of its own. The Hoyas lost to perennial powerhouse Milton 73-52 during the 2011-12 season. They won just seven games, however in 2012-13.
Crump said he was trying to wait until Tuesday to break the news to his players, but the 24-7 news cycle that is social media threw a wrench in his plans.
"I don't know how he did it, but a member of the Harrison student section outed me on Twitter," Crump said. "I figured then that I needed to start making phone calls to my kids and letting them know what was going on."
Crump said he was excited about the challenges of being in a new place with “great tradition and resources” and to be competing in a higher classification. But he also lauded his time at Eagle’s Landing as unforgettable and life changing.
“The thing I’ll miss is the relationships with the kids,” he said. “It was a big family that just kept growing every year. We had a ton of success, and I think a lot of people enjoyed watching our teams play and will say that we did it the right way.”
Check out Wednesday’s print edition of the Henry Daily Herald for more on Crump’s departure.