• College Athlete Advantage

My Story - Mike Crawford

Updated: Oct 13, 2020

My story starts in Tucson, AZ where I played high school ball at Salpointe Catholic High School. I played 3 years of varsity baseball there as a pitcher and was an above average student. During those 3 years I won 29 games and was named Southern Arizona Player of the Year my Junior and Senior year. I was also a 1st team all-state selection for both of those years. The 29 career wins is still the record for most wins in Southern Arizona. During my senior year my choices of colleges came down to 3 to 4 Arizona Junior Colleges on scholarship and a preferred walk-on spot at the University of Arizona. I chose to attend Yavapai CC on scholarship and spent 2 years there before attending the University of Arizona on scholarship for my final 2 years.

Before you start shaking your head on how I could have this much success in high school and only have these opportunities to pursue for colleges realize that I was a 5’11 RHP that threw 82-84 mph my senior year. After being a recruiting coordinator in the PAC-12 for the last 7 years, the 18 year-old version of me would never have caught my eye as to someone that I needed to pursue in what was then the PAC-10. It wasn’t until my sophomore year at Yavapai that I started to mature and gain velocity. During that fall I was touching 91 mph and other D1 schools such as U of A were now starting to recognize that I could be a fit for their program. I ended up signing with Arizona on scholarship and got a chance to be a starting pitching in the PAC-10 for my final two years. During my two years I averaged 85+ innings per year and won a few games, but my career ERA was north of 7. Not good!!!

Growing up in Tucson and attending Arizona games since I was 8 years old, I grew up always wanting to be a Wildcat. I don’t regret going to Arizona as it was the school that I dreamed of playing at but I never considered any other school during the recruiting process. During my time there I would consider myself at best an average pitcher for the PAC-10 level and my stats showed that.

The recruiting process in the late 90’s when I was a high school player were completely different then what it is now.

Back then, most of the elite college baseball schools would start their recruiting process by showing up to the Area Code Games to see who they were going to start recruiting and offering scholarships. Most, if not all, of the players at the Area Code Games were uncommitted and were the elite players in the country entering their senior year. If a coach were to show up to the Area Code Games now to start their recruiting process, they would be attending an event with the elite seniors in the country, in which all but a few were already committed to a school.

Schools that have higher recruiting budgets have the opportunity to travel to all parts of the country to find the right player for their program. They have the ability to see someone that they are recruiting play as many times as they need to, in order to make their decision on a recruit. However, the extreme majority of schools don’t have the budget to do it this way and fall into a geographical area when it comes to filling their roster with needs.

As a high school player, I fell into a geographical area when it came to schools that could see me play and schools that I was interested in. Even though I am thankful for the path that I chose, I never had the resources to be informed on schools all over the country that might have been a better fit for what type of player I was. Had I opened my eyes to other schools that had a chance to see me and had interest in me, my decision could possibly have been different. I am grateful for the opportunity that CAA is giving me to help high school players to extend their geographical area and their knowledge of schools that are the right fit for them.


Mike Crawford comes to College Athlete Advantage with 19 years of college coaching and recruiting experience. Most recently, he spent the last 11 years as an assistant coach at the University of Utah. During his time at the University of Utah he served as the Recruiting Coordinator and Pitching Coach for all 11 seasons and as the Associate Head Coach for the last 3 seasons. While at Utah, the Utes won the Mountain West Championship in 2009 and won the PAC-12 Championship in 2016. Prior to Utah, Crawford spent 2 years as the Associate Head Coach at Yavapai CC, 4 years as the Recruiting Coordinator at Cochise College and 2 years as the Pitching Coach at Pima CC. Crawford has coached 21 pitchers that have been drafted into the MLB, including 8 in the Top 10 rounds.

His collegiate playing career started with two years at Yavapai CC where he was named Conference Pitcher of the Year following his sophomore season. He then went on to play at the University of Arizona as a starting pitcher. Crawford graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Communications and a Thematic Minor Emphasis in Sports Coaching. He later got his masters degree from the United States Sports Academy in Coaching.

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