Team signs six players from the state of Utah.
Mike Crawford is in his sixth year as the pitching coach for the University of Utah.
The Utes have consistently been towards the top of the league in several pitching categories. Last season Utah surrendered just 13 home runs to rank second in the league in fewest home runs allowed. The Utes tied for third in the Pac-12 in pickoffs in 2012. Utah led the conference in fewest hits, doubles and home runs allowed in 2011. In 2010, Utah led the conference in fewest walks, hits and home runs allowed. The team finished second in opposing batting average and saves, behind only College World Series participant TCU. Utah set a school record for strikeouts en route to winning the MWC Tournament in 2009.
Last season, Mitch Watrous was tied for sixth in the Pac-12 in batters struck out looking. He was tied for fourth in the Pac-12 in fewest earned runs allowed and tied for second in fewest doubles allowed in 2012.
Crawford has had four Utah pitchers drafted, most notably Tyler Wagner, who was a fourth-round pick to the Milwaukee Brewers in 2012. Wagner set a school record with 17 saves during his career. Rick Anton was an eighth-round selection to the Dodgers in 2011 after leading the conference in wins and ranking third in strikeouts in 2011. Brian Budrow and Jordan Whatcott were each drafted in 2009.
Crawford previously spent two seasons as associate head coach at Yavapai College where the Roughriders were 41-16-1 in 2008. They climbed to as high as No. 9 in the national polls, and won their league with a 30-8 mark. Crawford's pitching staff was one of six schools in the 13-team league with an earned-run average below 4.00 (3.81). Yavapai was fourth in the conference strikeouts (393).
From 2002-05, Crawford was the pitching coach and recruiting coordinator at Cochise College in Douglas, Ariz. He helped the Apaches to a pair of second-place league finishes (2004, 2005), and the 2005 pitching staff had the lowest earned-run average in the conference (2.66). As CC recruiting coordinator, he saw three of his four recruiting classes play for a regional championship. Before that he worked two seasons at Pima College in Tucson, Ariz.
Crawford played at the University of Arizona from 1999-2000. He was a starting pitcher for the Wildcats both years and was named the Pac-10 Pitcher of Week in May, 1999. He graduated from UA in 2001 with a bachelor's of science in communication and went on to get his master's from the United States Sports Academy in 2008.
The Tucson native's playing career began at Yavapai College as a starting pitcher in 1997-98. In 1998, he was named the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference (ACCAC) Pitcher of the Year.
Crawford and his wife, Sarah, have an eight-year-old son, Kolby.