OCU baseball coach Crabaugh dies at 64

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Longtime Oklahoma City University baseball coach Denney Crabaugh died Wednesday at age 64. A cause of death was not released by the family.

Crabaugh's teams were an annual NAIA powerhouse. The Stars were 1,601-493-2 during his time at the helm, although his impact reached far beyond the wins.

“Denney was an accomplished coach,” recently-retired OCU athletic director Jim Abbott said. “He was always there for his players. I can’t imagine not only the number of times that he worked with players but when he just took the time to help guide young men through life’s challenges.”

Crabaugh always knew he wanted to be a baseball coach. He grew up watching his father, Duane Crabaugh, coach Webber Falls High School, Del City High School and Rose State Junior College.

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Duane’s love for baseball was passed to Denney. The Del City native played collegiately for Rose State, Oklahoma State and Southeastern Oklahoma State.

Denney was a standout pitcher. He threw two no-hitters during his senior season in 1980 and helped Southeastern reach the NAIA World Series.

After beginning his coaching career as an assistant at Southeastern, Ardmore High School and Ada High School, Denney was named OCU’s head coach in 1989.

During his career at OCU, the Stars won the 2005 NAIA championship and made 14 World Series appearances. OCU had 14 seasons in which it won 50 games. OCU was national runner-up three times. All under Crabaugh.

Crabaugh is a four-time hall of fame inductee. He’s in the OCU Athletics Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma Coaches Association Hall of Fame, the NAIA Hall of Fame and the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

Denney is a four-time hall of fame inductee. He’s in the OCU Athletics Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma Coaches Association Hall of Fame, the NAIA Hall of Fame and the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

The development of his players was Denney’s biggest accomplishment, though.

Five OCU alums coached by Crabaugh reached the major leagues, including Freddy Sanchez. The 10-year pro was the 2006 National League batting champion while with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Crabaugh didn’t just develop successful baseball players. From doctors to sports agents to marketing directors, he helped mold successful members of the community.

“The biggest part of Denney’s legacy that will live on is the people,” Abbott said. “I just feel great about the fact that the seeds Denney planted will continue to grow and impact other people.”

Denney is survived by his wife, Sue, and their four children: Kaylee, Mindy, Cody and Amy.

Mindy and Cody played for the OCU softball and baseball teams, respectively. Amy currently plays softball for OCU.

This article originally appeared on Oklahoman: OCU baseball coach Denney Crabaugh has died at age 64