It didn’t take long for Brandon Crosby to earn the confidence of the new Fort Lewis College athletics administration.
Crosby, who was named the interim head coach of Fort Lewis College football in January when former head coach Joe Morris departed for West Texas A&M, had the interim title removed. The announcement came three days after FLC dropped the home opener 23-14 to Dixie State in a spirited effort against a Dixie State that will transition to Division I next season.
The Skyhawks are now 1-1 this season and can feel a culture change after a solid summer of recruiting by Crosby and his staff.
“It’s a huge blessing,” Crosby said. “I’ve said it many times, I really enjoy Durango, love Fort Lewis and I want to be here. I’m not one of those coaches who is looking for the next job. It sounds crazy to say that, but I got into coaching when I was 30. I haven’t been jumping around forever. My whole goal from the beginning was to find a place I really enjoy, people I like to work around and build something. That’s my main goal.”
Crosby made his presence felt immediately with his no-excuses style. Rather than focusing on what FLC doesn’t have when it comes to facilities and funding compared to its Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference rivals, he has focused on recruiting based around what FLC does have. That includes Crosby’s positive mindset.
“Since my arrival on campus, coach Crosby has been a tremendous leader, a tireless worker and has conducted himself with the utmost integrity,” first-year FLC athletic director Brandon Leimbach said in a news release.
“I am confident in his ability to take FLC football to the next level competitively while also preparing our student-athletes for a lifetime of achievement beyond collegiate athletics.”
Last season, Crosby was the offensive coordinator of the Skyhawks. He came from the University of Nevada where he was a quarterbacks quality control coach and graduate assistant coach of wide receivers. He had spent time as a recruiting coordinator at West Texas A&M. Previously, he also spent time coaching running backs and tight ends at LaGrange College, Saddleback College and Williamette University.
The Skyhawks have struggled to sustain football success, with only 11 winning seasons since 1963. The last came in 2015 under the leadership of coach John L. Smith. The last winning season before that came in 2006 under Ed Rifilato, who is an assistant on Crosby’s staff this season.
Crosby said having the interim label removed from his title will help the program in recruiting with some stability going forward.
“Hopefully, we can get some wins and show we’re moving in the right direction,” he said. “Obviously, the most stressful thing we had going on was to prove we were worthy. I think we’ve shown we’re moving in the right direction, and it feels good. But, if you don’t win, it doesn’t do too much. We’ve got to go get some wins.”
The next chance will come at home at noon Saturday against Chadron State.