Community Spotlight-Brandy Crawford
Brandy Crawford has been a coach since she was just 14 years old. Through many seasons and different sports, she has lived a life dedicated to kids, and stacked up wins year after year. She has well over 300 wins as a volleyball coach, and last year took the Maud Lady Cardinals through a historic run to the playoffs.
She knew at a very early age that she wanted to be a coach. Now, after more than 20 years of coaching high school sports, her life has changed. As with everything Brandy does, the change came because she listened to God.
She has left the sport she has loved for so long, and the excitement that it brings, and turns her attentions toward a new goal, and new excitement, as a 1st grade teacher at Hubbard.
Brandy once told the Tribune, “I like the small town communities where you know every kid’s face and you know every kid’s name and you know the parents and all the fans in the stands. There’s such a big following at small schools…it’s just a much more exciting atmosphere.”
It is safe to say she will find that same atmosphere in her new career at Hubbard, where instead of coaching the proper way to lift, spike and set, she will instead have the opportunity to teach and mold little minds.
The transition away from coaching has been a process.
Brandy says the transformation began in 2016 when her husband surrendered to the ministry and was ordained in 2016. Then from what began as a Bible study on the family owned land where now sits God’s Little Acre, God began moving her in a different direction, in a change that began in her heart and evolved as battles with cancer began.
Crawford states that she has had a calling on her life for coaching from a very early age. She tells us, “I had a call on my life for coaching. It has been an important part of my life. But I know God has a way of changing things. In February of 2019, I was taking care of my Nana, and everything just started adding up. There was the level of stress from coaching, being a pastor’s wife, taking care of a love one, and then I got diagnosed with stage 4 cancer.”
Crawford explains how the cancer changed everything.
She said, “I had a large mass in my abdomen, and they tried radiation and chemo for maybe three months. That was a huge shock because I was a heathy person. But through it all I knew immediately that He would bring me out of it. My husband and I began to pray and seek God’s face, and for the doctors and the right people to be put in our path. I just immediately had peace. I knew I was God’s child and that He had a purpose in all of it.”
In all, Brandy went through 30 external radiation treatments, four internal and nine rounds of chemo between February and May. She wasn’t able to work, but knew then that God was moving her in a new direction.
She started getting invites to speak at conferences, and spoke in June at the National Cancer Day recognition at St Michaels. She had some speaking engagements and thought that might be where God was leading her.
Then came more chemo treatments, harsh ones, from July through December.
When things weren’t going right, she questioned herself, all the while God was telling her that it was time to do something different.
She said, “I wanted one more year of coaching when I wasn’t distracted, but sometimes what we want is not what God wants. We were in summer workout one day and I realized that it would be a disservice to the kids if I stayed. My heart had changed. I started looking for a teaching only job, and found Hubbard. They called me and were excited to talk to me. We prayed and God gave me the job.”
Leaving coaching was not easy for Crawford. She stated, “It broke my heart to tell the girls that I was leaving, but I know God will send someone to take care of them. What a career I have had, I have loved every minute of it, and I am so excited for the new one.”
Brandy Crawford has always been a winner. She reached great heights as a coach, persevered to a huge win over cancer, and there is no doubt she will be a champion as she focuses her sights on molding the minds of the next generation.