Andy Crane serves as the recruiting coordinator and an assistant coach for the Youngstown State women's basketball program under Head Coach John Barnes. He enters his fifth year as a Penguin in 2017-18.
Crane's recruiting efforts have helped the Penguins assemble a talented and deep roster, which gives the coaching staff confidence that YSU will continue to compete for the top spot in the Horizon League in the short and long term.
With a wide-spread network, Crane and the YSU staff have been able to recruit student-athletes from seven different states and Sweden since arriving on campus in 2013. The emphasis has been on securing the region with all but two signees coming from Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Indiana and Wisconsin.
The Penguins' incoming 2017 recruiting class features all-state honorees from Ohio, Indiana and Pennsylvania. McKenah Peters was a First-Team All-Ohioan, Anne Secrest was named to the Indiana Supreme 15, and Chelsea Olson was an honorable mention all-state selection in Wisconsin.
YSU's 2016 recruiting class featured three Western Pennsylvania stars who signed in the fall and a standout from Texas who signed in the spring. In that class, Mary Dunn went on to be named the Horizon League Freshman of the Year as she led all conference freshmen in scoring and field-goal percentage. Natalie Myers, an all-state honoree from Pennsylvania like Dunn, started 14 games and led the squad in rebounding.
The 2015 class was ranked as one of the top 25 percent in the country on signing day, and three of the four freshmen on the 2015-16 team were named First-Team All-Ohio after their senior years. Melinda Trimmer was named the Co-Player of the Year at the Division II level, and Alison Smolinski was a first-team all-state selections at the Division I level.
The 2014 class featured Michigan Player of the Year Kelley Wright and first-team all-state honorees Nikki Arbanas and Indiya Benjamin. Arbanas and Benjamin started every game for the Penguins as freshmen, and they both broke the previous school record for 3-pointers by a freshman. Further, YSU set team records for fewest turnovers per game and best assist-to-turnover ratio with them as the starting backcourt.
In addition to Crane's responsibilities as the recruiting coordinator, he oversees official and unofficial visits, assists in the development of YSU's wings, scouts opponents and helps with game and practice preparation.
YSU won 21 games in both 2014-15 and 2015-16 and advanced to a postseason tournament in consecutive years for the first time in school history. In 2016, the Penguins reached the semifinals of the WBI (Women's Basketball Invitational). In 2015, YSU played host to a first-round WNIT contest.
While a series of knee injuries affected YSU's record in 2016-17, a large group of underclassmen showed they can contribute as the Penguins return to full strength in 2017-18.
Youngstown State led the Horizon League in 3-pointers per game for the third straight year and made at least 200 for the seventh straight season in 2016-17. On the national level, YSU ranked 14th in free-throw percentage and 15th in 3s per game.
In 2015-16, the Penguins were 21-13 and won two games in the WBI before falling in the semifinals to Louisiana. YSU ranked 12th in the NCAA making 8.8 3-pointers per game, was ninth in 3-pointers made and the guards showed stout defensive play as the Penguins were also 12th in 3-point FG defense. The Penguins also ranked in the top 15 percent in the nation in fewest turnovers per game. Youngstown State set a new school record for 3-pointers in a season with 299 in 2015-16.
In his second year with program, the Penguins reached the WNIT for just the second time in the program's history. YSU won 21 games in 2014-15, posting 20-plus wins for the second time in the last three years. With seven true freshmen, the most in the Horizon League and in Ohio, the Penguins earned their 10th 20-win season in program history in 2014-15.
The Guins were 10-0 for the first time at the Division I level and for just the second time (1978-79) in school history to start a season before losing at Pittsburgh on Dec. 21. On the national level, Youngstown State ranked 13th in free-throw percentage and 22nd in 3-pointers per game. YSU advanced to the semifinals of the Horizon League Tournament and won at least nine conference games for the third straight season.
In the staff's first season in 2013-14, the Penguins overachieved to finish third in the Horizon League and advance to the semifinals of the conference tournament. They matched their best start ever to a conference season with six straight victories, and they had their best offense in more than a decade. The team's 70.3 points per game were the highest since 1999-2000, and they had their highest field goal percentage in 12 years.
Crane, like Barnes, came to Youngstown with a year of experience in the Horizon League to his credit. Crane was an assistant at Cleveland State in 2012-13, and he had five more seasons of collegiate coaching experience before coming to YSU. Additionally, he spent three years as a head coach at Team Wisconsin Select, a top AAU program.
In his lone year at Cleveland State, Crane coached the Horizon League Defensive Player of the Year and one of the top scorers in the country in Shalonda Winton. The Vikings beat Ole Miss and Indiana with Crane on the bench, earning their first win ever over an SEC opponent and their second victory over a Big Ten program.
Prior to his arrival at Cleveland State, Crane spent four seasons (2007-09 and 2010-12) as an assistant at the University of Dubuque in Iowa. The Spartans experienced new milestones under Crane, posting their best regular season finish in program history and their first Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament win. Crane successfully recruited to Dubuque six all-state players, six WBCA All Stars, two McDonald's All-America Nominees and a Minnesota Ms. Basketball finalist.
Crane coached the guards for three seasons at Dubuque and helped develop eight all-conference performers. One of those set the conference record for assists and ranked in the top 20 in NCAA Division III history in assists. He coached the post players in 2011-12 as Dubuque finished 15-10, its best regular season record in program history.
He coached at Ellsworth Community College in Iowa in 2009-10 and recruited the first NJCAA Pre-Season All-American in program history. He also brought in two all-region players, including the second-leading scorer in the Iowa Community College Athletic Conference.
In addition to his collegiate coaching, Crane spent three years as the head coach of Team Wisconsin Select, an elite AAU program that had a roster that included some of the top players in the 2013 and 2014 classes in Iowa and Wisconsin. He coached the club to championships at the 2011 USJN "Battle of the Programs" and the 2011 USJN Great American Showcase.
Crane also spent two years as a skill instructor under Mike Lee, who is regarded as one of the premier skill instructors in the country. In 2011-12, he was a lead evaluator and contributing writer for Midwest Recruiting Report in Chicago.
A native of Baraboo, Wis., Crane earned a bachelor's degree in psychology of coaching from Dubuque in 2009. He and his wife, Kristi, have a baby daughter named Ivy.
2013-Present — Youngstown State Assistant Coach
2012-13 — Cleveland State Assistant Coach
2010-12 — Dubuque Assistant Coach
2009-10 — Ellsworth Community College Assistant Coach
2007-09 — Dubuque Assistant Coach