- Leanne Grotke Award (2021)
Suzanne Crump (BS ’84) came to IU in 1980 as a highly-accomplished high school student-athlete, someone who had earned 10 varsity letters during her prep career at Western High School in Russiaville, Ind. Despite those successes, no one would have thought she’d depart IU four years later as Big Ten champion in softball and someone who had a chance to play in the College Softball World Series.
Why? Because none of those 10 high school varsity letters were in softball.
Crump was a four-year starter in high school in volleyball, a three-year starter in basketball and a standout in track and field. But it wasn’t until she tried out as a walk-on at IU that she had ever played fastpitch softball. Despite that lack of experience, Crump showed IU Softball Coach Gayle Blevins enough to not only make the Hoosier team as a sophomore, but to be a key component of a team that won the 1983 Big Ten title and advanced to the College Softball World Series.
Crump has continued to make an impact on education and athletics in the Hoosier state during her professional career. She served as a girl’s basketball coach at Cowan (Ind.) High School just outside of Muncie in 1997, and was then named Cowan’s athletic director in 1999. She remained there until 2007, when she moved to Muncie Central to serve as assistant principal. In 2014 she added the title of athletic director, a role she held until her retirement in 2017. Her absence from the high school ranks was short-lived, as she returned to Cowan Junior/Senior High School in 2019 to serve as assistant principal and athletic director.
Suzanne and her husband, Michael, have two children – Kathryn Childress and Tyler Crump.