Now in his third season as head coach at Old Dominion University, the Lady Monarch women’s golf program is gaining national recognition. Crabtree’s 2014 freshman class was ranked 19th nationally in Golfstat’s Freshman Class Impact ranking and his 2015 class was ranked 24th. To date, he has now signed four number one ranked players from four different countries to the Lady Monarch golf team (#1 Argentina, #1 Czech Republic, #1 Belgium, #1 UAE).
Supporting Academic Success
While he has already demonstrated his ability to guide the Lady Monarchs to new heights on the golf course, the academic accomplishments of his golfers continue to pour in, serving as a testament to his prioritization of success in the classroom. “I believe it is difficult to play golf and perform at a high level if a player is behind in the classroom. I think it’s much easier to play well when your grades are good. I encourage my team to stay on top of their classes, and then we can travel to tournaments and play and have fun.” says Coach Crabtree.
The women’s golf team was declared as the 2015 ODU Scholar Team of the Year, and in 2014 the squad was recognized by the NCAA for being one of only four ODU teams earning perfect graduation rate success. With Crabtree at the forefront of the program, Maggie Simmermacher and Kate Vlasinova were named 2015 Women’s Golf Collegiate Scholars All-Americans, and nine players have received C-USA Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll recognition.
In 2014, the NCAA recognized ODU Women’s Golf for a perfect APR Score – 1000. ODU’s perfect APR Score ranks top 10% of all NCAA programs. The APR score provides a real-time look at a team's academic success each semester by tracking the academic progress of each student-athlete on scholarship. The APR accounts for eligibility, retention and graduation and provides a measure of each team's academic performance.
The Crabtree Philosophy
As he continues to reel in top recruits from around the world and develop the Lady Monarch golfers into highly productive student-athletes, Crabtree maintains a vision for the future.
“I like to keep my teams small, around six players,” Crabtree explained. “That way I can invest more individual quality time with each player and help them progress. I want each player to travel to every tournament because I don’t think players get better if they stay home on campus. I’m convinced that players need experience traveling and competing to improve and grow as golfers and people. I want my golfers to grow from each and every event. I want to put an emphasis on recruiting international players.
And Crabtree’s philosophy has already begun to manifest its prosperity with the recent headlines surrounding the ODU women’s golf program. At the conclusion of the 2015 season, Maggie Simmermacher was named C-USA Freshman of the Year and First Team All C-USA. Simmermacher also finished top 25 at the 2014 World Am/Espirito Santo Trophy in Japan and made the final cut at the 2015 U.S. Women’s Amateur. While Katerina Vlasinova earned Third Team All C-USA honors, she finished fifth in stroke play at the 2015 British Ladies Open Amateur Championship. Vlasinova was the highest placing amateur at the 2015 Tipsport Golf Master (LET) and won the 2015 Czech Republic National Match Play Championship. Freshman Charlotte De Corte from Belgium was semi-finalist at the 2015 Ladies British Open Amateur Championship and T8 at the 2015 International European Ladies Amateur Championship.
At the time of his hiring, ODU Senior Associate Athletic Director Bruce Stewart commented on his confidence in Coach Crabtree’s leadership.
“I found Andy’s vision for the program aligned with our core values. He has been described as a “players’ coach” and has been quite successful in his own regard in college as well as a golfer. I look forward to the continued success of our program under his leadership.” – Bruce Stewart, ODU’s Sr. Assoc. Athletic Director.
And as for the success of the Lady Monarch golfers, for Crabtree, this is only the beginning.
Crabtree’s Stint at Texas A&M (2011-2013)
Before taking the reins at ODU, Crabtree served as an assistant coach for Texas A&M’s women’s golf program for two seasons. At Texas A&M, Crabtree recruited Marijosse Navarro (#3 nationally ranked) and Maddie Szeryk (#5 nationally ranked) in the class of 2014. Crabtree also attracted verbal commitments from top 10 nationally ranked recruits in the class of 2015 and 2016.
While at Texas A&M, the Aggies reached #10 in the national rankings, which was the highest in program history. Texas A&M won a Big 12 Championship and posted two top 10 NCAA finishes. In his first year at A&M, Crabtree helped the Aggies to individual titles at the 2012 Big 12 Championship and the NCAA Regional. The Aggies finished second at regionals to match their best finish in program history and placed 16th at the NCAA Championship to mark its fourth top 20 finish in five seasons.
Developing Top Talent at Tulsa (2007-2011)
In 2007, Crabtree was named the first full time assistant men’s golf coach in history at The University of Tulsa. During his tenure in Tulsa, the Golden Hurricane golf team advanced to NCAA regional play three times and had eight players earn All-Conference USA honors. Tulsa's 2010 recruiting class was rated one of the best in the nation among mid-major schools by Golfweek.
Crabtree worked extensively with All C-USA golfers Nicolas Geyger, Rob Laird, and Arie Fauzi at Tulsa. He also helped instruct Chris Worrell, who was recognized by C-USA when he earned All-Freshman Team honors. In 2010, Crabtree caddied for Tulsa's Stephen Carney when he won the Oklahoma Golf Association State Amateur Championship. Crabtree also mentored Tulsa golfers to accomplishments in the classroom. The Golf Coaches Association of America honored Tulsa men's golf with the All-Academic Team Award in 2008-09 and 2009-10. Rob Laird was selected GCAA All-American Scholar in 2009 and 2010.
College Days at the University of South Florida (1995-1999)
While Crabtree compiled an extensive list of impressive accolades on the golf course over his four years at USF, he excelled in the classroom as well. He was named the Conference USA Student-Athlete of the Year for golf as a senior. He went on to earn his bachelor's degree in communication and was named an Academic All-American in 1999. Crabtree also qualified for the U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach and British Amateur at Royal Liverpool.
Leading the Lady Monarchs (2013-2016)
In the fall of 2015, Crabtree helped guide the Lady Monarchs to second place finishes in the Fighting Camel Classic, the Golfweek Program Challenge and the Lady Pirate Invitational. Two of his student-athletes, Charlotte De Corte and Maggie Simmermacher, also competed in the highly prestigious Spirit International Tournament. Under Crabtree’s guidance, junior Rachel Walker earned her second career C-USA Women’s Golfer of the Week honor after tying for third place at the Pinehurst Challenge, shooting a career-best 6-under 210 (71-71-68).
The Lady Monarchs continued to thrive in the spring, registering two fourth-place finishes and placing second at the conference tournament. ODU reeled in a plethora of individual accolades, as Simmermacher, Vlasinova and De Corte were honored in the conference postseason awards, Walker was named to the C-USA All-Tournament Team and several Lady Monarchs received academic recognition.