This archived article was written by: Riley Spears
In the minds of some people, those at the age of 26 are still not quite an adult, but this year’s coach Chris Craig has all the responsibilities as adults. The now youngest coach in the nation has to help bring this team together and hopefully make a run for the conference title.
Craig takes over for Bryan Zollinger who recently accepted a head coaching position at Seward County Community College in Kansas. Chris will be the 12th men’s basketball coach.
Craig played junior college ball at Arizona Western then went to the University of Texas El Paso. His professional career included teams from Switzerland, Mexico, Ireland and Germany. He was also the player-coach for Ireland where he won their first ever National Cup Championship.
Craig said, “This is an exciting opportunity for me. I chose to come to Price last year not only to work with Coach Z, but also to get back to the West. My year in Price has been amazing, and I look forward to staying here for a long time.” This team is a team that has not really played together, so he will need to help them come together.
About being the youngest coach in the nation, he said he really doesn’t think about that. “Sometimes it can be bad when the coach is so young, but when it comes down to it, the players know who is boss.” As for basketball, Craig believes that CEU can continue a winning tradition. “We are losing the nation’s leading scorer in Tyler Kepkay (now at the University of Utah), but CEU has some excellent players returning that were a big part of his success.”
“I’ve been in this business a long time and I’ve never seen someone as prepared to coach as Chris is,” said CEU athletic director Dave Paur. “We’re confident that he will be a great asset to the entire athletic program.” Administrators at CEU were pleased to have found their coach right in their own backyard. “We talked to candidates from all over Utah and as far away as Texas, Illinois and Oregon. Several had collegiate head coaching experience and Chris proved to be the best candidate,” said CEU Vice-President Brad King.
Coach Craig expects to bring a “high octane” offense and tenacious defensive scheme to Eastern Utah. The students and fans can look forward to “high flying Golden Eagle Basketball,” says the press release from May of 2007.
“I am glad for this opportunity. I love to see kids grow and learn,” Craig said.