WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. – One of the most respected coaches in NCAA Division III wrestling history, Lycoming College Head Coach Roger Crebs ’87 was honored with a citation presented by PA Sen. Gene Yaw ’70 on Wednesday, Dec. 1.
In a small ceremony held in front of Lycoming College’s Keiper Recreation center, Yaw read from the citation that was presented in the senate on Nov. 9. In part, it said, “Approaching each day’s work with the highest of professional standards, Mr. Crebs teaches the principles of sportsmanship and fair play with skill and dedication, virtues he readily and genuinely displays. Through his unwavering dedication to, expertise in and enthusiasm for athletics, he truly stands as a role model worthy of emulation.”
Crebs accepted the citation with Lycoming College President Kent Trachte by his side. His son, Gable, a sophomore on the wrestling team at Lycoming, and wife, Tara ’94, were also in attendance.
Adding to a slew of honors earned during his 28 years along the Lycoming matside, Crebs picked up the Pennsylvania Chapter of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame’s Lifetime Service to Wrestling award in October at an event held at the Hershey Lodge. Crebs is also a member of the National Wrestling Coaches Association Division III Hall of Fame (2012), District 4 Wrestling Hall of Fame (2011) and the West Branch Valley Sports Hall of Fame (2018).
Crebs has picked up 419 dual meet wins during his time at Lycoming, a total that is the most among active Division III coaches, 23rd in collegiate wrestling history and eighth-most in Division III history. He has coached 52 conference champions, 30 All-Americans, five national champions and all eight of the school’s 100-match winners.
“Roger Crebs‘ record places him in an elite group of four legendary coaches in the history of Lycoming College Athletics,” Lycoming College President Kent Trachte said. “He teaches lessons on the mat that become the foundation for successful careers after graduation, and under his tutelage, young men learn that it takes hard work, discipline, and determination to reach one’s potential. Lycoming College has been fortunate to have Roger leading our wrestling program for more than a quarter century. I congratulate him on this well-deserved honor.”
Throughout his tenure, Crebs has maintained a high level of excellence, with his teams compiling winning percentages of less than .600 just six times in 27 years as coach, while only one team in his first 27 years as a coach finished under .500.
Crebs was named the NWCA Division III Coach of the Year in 1997 after leading the Warriors to a perfect 22-0 record and he was named Division III Rookie Coach of the Year in 1994. During Crebs’ reign, the Warriors have won five Middle Atlantic Conference titles (1994, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001) and three NCAA East Regional (1994, 1997, 1998) crowns. The team has finished in the top-25 at the NCAA Division III Championship 14 times under Crebs’ guidance.
A three-time MAC champion at Lycoming College from 1984-86, Crebs has never forgotten the legacy of his coach, Budd Whitehill, as he has hosted the Budd Whitehill National Duals every year since 1995, bringing in many of the top D-III teams in the nation each year to compete in one of the toughest tournaments in the country. The Warriors have won the event twice.
A Montoursville resident, Crebs has two sons, Gable, named for legendary wrestler Dan Gable, and Cael, named for another wrestling legend, Cael Sanderson. Cael is a first-year wrestler at the U.S. Naval Academy.