Crumb picked to lead Pirates

Port Angeles' Alison Crumb was named Peninsula's new head women's basketball coach last week, following the resignation of Julie Stewart on June 2.

Crumb is a 2003 Port Angeles High School graduate. She led the Pirates to the only Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges women's conference championship in school history in 2005 - playing for coach Stewart.

"I am very excited about taking on this wonderful opportunity to coach young women in the sport that I love with great passion," Crumb said. "It is going to be a lot of work for everyone involved to build from the success that the Pirates had last season and there are going to be a lot of new faces attached to the program, which is difficult and exciting at the same time."

Crumb served as team captain that year and broke the school record for assists. She then went on to finish her collegiate career at Western Oregon University where she earned a bachelor's degree in English literature.

The former Roughrider and Pirate was reunited with coach Stewart as an assistant coach in 2008.

Crumb takes over the reins as head coach immediately, said college athletic director Rick Ross.

In addition to coaching, Crumb will teach part time at Peninsula.

Stewart stepped down from the Pirate head coaching position for the second time in her career. She coached at Peninsula for two seasons (2003-2004 and 2004-2005) and then came back for the 2008-2009 season. She went 53-33 in her career at Peninsula, including two trips to the NWAACC basketball championships.

The move was not expected, Ross said.

"I was not expecting Julie to step down this year and am, of course, disappointed to be losing her," he said. "But I'm also confident that Ali will continue to offer our program the same quality of character, work ethic and positive spirit that Julie represented. Ali was a natural leader as a player and, as point guard, a 'coach on the court.' I believe that her experience as a player, both here and at Western Oregon, in addition to learning the coaching ropes from Julie, have prepared her to continue our winning tradition."

Crumb said she is very excited to have this opportunity and will continue to recruit the players coach Stewart was recruiting before she decided to step down.

The 2008-2009 Pirates graduated 10 sophomores, so the Pirates' newest coach has her work cut out for her with a large freshman class. Crumb said she plans to spend more time developing strength and speed, considering that freshman generally lag behind sophomores in physical strength.

"There will be a great focus in the weight room and in conditioning in an effort to get our young players ready for college play," she said. "Hopefully if we prepare physically and mentally, we will have an exciting team to watch next fall. It was not too long ago I was wearing their shoes on the same court," she said. "I'm hoping they have the same quality experience and success that I had."

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