Brent Crenshaw took over the Siloam Springs soccer program in the summer of 2015 with zero state championships on his resume.
Three years later, he leaves the Panthers and Lady Panthers with five state titles in six chances.
* Denotes state championship
Crenshaw submitted his resignation as coach and teacher to the school district on Monday after accepting an offer to become the head boys soccer coach at Fayetteville.
"This was a tough decision," Crenshaw said. "It wasn't an easy decision. This decision was probably a tougher one than when I moved out of state (Oklahoma) to Arkansas to take the Siloam Springs job."
Crenshaw leaves Siloam Springs with a combined record of 112-33-7 in three years of coaching the Panthers and Lady Panthers, including five state championships and one state runner-up.
He was named Girls Coach of the Year twice by the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in 2016 and 2018, and was recently named Girls Coach of the Year for Arkansas by the NSCAA for 2018.
Crenshaw was 59-14-3 as the Siloam Springs girls coach, winning the last three state championships in the Lady Panthers' string of five straight titles.
He was 53-19-4 as the boys coach, winning state titles in 2016 and 2017 before coming up short in the 2018 title game.
"That's a special three years I've had here," Crenshaw said. "There's no doubt about it. I never thought I'd coach in six state championship games in three years, and to win five of those is something I'll never forget.
"It's a really tough decision because I've built a lot of good relationships here."
Crenshaw said representatives from Fayetteville approached him about the boys position, which was coached by Joe Thoma last year, who also coached the Fayetteville girls.
Originally Fayetteville was looking for an assistant coach but decided to change the job to head boys coach.
"Fayetteville came after me," Crenshaw said. "They changed the job from an assistant to a head coaching opportunity because it was me. They came after me. It was something I felt like I couldn't turn down."
Crenshaw said there is added motivation to try and be successful in the state's largest classification along with only having to coach one team.
"I was privileged to coach both teams here," Crenshaw said, "but that was a lot of work, and I wasn't able to get as detailed with either team as I would have liked. I told the kids I felt like I needed to spend more time with them."
Crenshaw said the ability to coach during the school day was a big factor as spring sports at Siloam Springs don't have an athletic period. At Fayetteville he'll be able to spend a period of the school day in practice.
"I'll get to spend more time with my family instead of having to practice (so long) every day after school," he said.
Crenshaw also added that professionally he has aspirations of getting into administration and he feels moving to a bigger school district might give him more opportunities.
Fayetteville's boys have struggled in recent years, including going 10-14 overall in 2018 and 7-7 in the 7A-West. The Purple'Dogs did make the Class 7A playoffs and defeated Fort Smith Southside in the opening round before losing to eventual state champion Fort Smith Northside.
"They're at best average right now," Crenshaw said. "We're young. ... It'll be a challenge for me. Look at the competition, too. With those 7A-West teams, every night is going to be a battle."
Siloam Springs athletic director Kevin Downing said the school district will begin searching immediately for a new coach. He also said it's possible the head soccer coach job could be separated into separate head boys and head girls jobs depending on the applicants.
"Coach Crenshaw did a great job of leading our boys and girls soccer teams," Downing said. "He continued our standard of excellence, tradition of winning, and we wish him all the best."Sports on 06/24/2018
Print Headline: Crenshaw resigns, accepts Fayetteville gig