Longtime area coach and school official Ken Crawford is leaving his post as Bellingham High School boys' basketball coach to lead the women's basketball program at NAIA school Northwest University.
Crawford's two-year run with the Red Raiders concludes his third stint with the boys' basketball program. Crawford also coached Bellingham from 1979-90 and 2000-05 before joining the Red Raiders again in 2011.
He coached the Whatcom Community College men's basketball team from 1995-2000 and coached the Biola University women's basketball team from 2005-11.
"That was really the only thing that could send me away from Bellingham, was the opportunity to go to the college level," Crawford said in a phone interview. "This was an opportunity I couldn't pass by."
Crawford posted a 19-22 overall record during his past two seasons, coaching a Bellingham team appearing to be on the upswing.
"I feel good about where the Bellingham program is," Crawford said. "I think it's a program on the rise. I think the next coach is going to come in and do some very good things with this team, and I look forward to watching their continued success."
Bellingham's top returners will be sophomore Kailen Hayes, who led the Red Raiders with 13.3 points per game, junior Tristan Hurley, who averaged 5.5 points and sophomore Dante Check, who averaged 5.3 points.
Crawford is going to a Northwest University program that went 2-21 last year and 11-16 during the 2011-12 season.
"It's a program that has gone through some lean years," Crawford said. "I talked to their coach, Lori Napier, who left to pursue other opportunities. They're excited to bring in some new energy and take the program in a new direction. It should be a great experience."
No information has been provided on who Crawford's replacement at Bellingham might be.
Reach ANDREW LANG at firstname.lastname@example.org or call ext. 862.