Arthur Crutch is all about the comeback.
After years in customer service, he is set to begin his teaching career this fall at White Bear Lake High School, a recent graduate with a teaching license in English Language Arts.
Four years ago, following his second year of head coaching at Cristo Rey, while working at the airport, Crutch felt ill.
“It was the end of the season, I’m getting prepared for the summer, and I had a really bad chest pain. ... I went home and my wife said ‘let’s take you to the ER,’” Crutch said.
Four hours later, he was diagnosed with an aortic dissection, a tear in the inner layer of the aorta, the large blood vessel branching off the heart. Emergency surgery corrected the issue, but it made him think about the future.
“That pretty much ended my head coaching at Cristo Rey,” Crutch said.
The comeback seems complete now, Crutch the new girls basketball coach at Chanhassen High School.
He replaces Angie Kissock, who stepped down this spring after leading the Storm in the first 10 seasons of the program.
Excited is the word Crutch used to describe the opportunity. Having led the Legacy Christian High School program the last two seasons in Andover, he is ready to get a chance with a Class 4A team.
“I told them in my interview, I just had the honor and ability to work with some great head coaches. I just soaked in the knowledge. I was thinking when I get my own program, this is what I want. Taking the best things from each program and bringing them together,” Crutch said.
Callin Hake, Chanhassen’s top scorer this past season as a freshman, a two-year contributor, was impressed with Crutch’s vision and preparedness as a member of the search committee.
Storm players are excited to see what comes next for the Chanhassen program.
“I think one of the intangibles I bring to the table is my flexibility. I just see what I have. I don’t want to change too much. If I can help a girl with her shot, or post moves, sure, that’s what we’re going to do. I like to look at what we have and work to put together a plan that makes us as successful as we can be,” Crutch said.
Crutch started his coaching career at Orono High School under current Eden Prairie head coach Ellen Wiese. He also made stops at Park Center for three seasons and Providence Academy for two years.
Crutch, a Park Center High School graduate, is currently coaching AAU Basketball with the Metro Stars.
His passion to work with young people is something that has always been a big part of who he is.
“My wife told me, ‘why don’t go back to school and do what you’ve always wanted to do.’ I told her, if we can make it work, that’s what I want to do. I’m really excited for this school year,” said Crutch, who student taught at Hopkins North Junior High this past spring.
An opportunity to meet Coach Crutch is set for 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 13, at Chanhassen High School. Parents and players are open to attend.