The loss of Big Mike Crabtree hits us hard:Mike “Tree” Crabtree cut down by colon cancer(Former Glenwood Bear gone at age 60)

Posted by Andy Durham on November 5, 2016 at 10:24 pm under Amateur, High School | Comments are off for this article

Mike “Tree” Crabtree cut down by colon cancer and gone just like that at age 60….

A Big loss and a big man and a good man and a good friend to many in the GreensboroSports Community….

Was glancing over the Obit column in the Greensboro News and Record on-line today and saw the name Mike “Tree” Crabtree, 60…I paused for a second and said to myself, “That’s got to be “Big Mike” Crabtree and then you almost fall back, when you realize “Tree” was just a year or two older than me…

I started drifting back to the days of Mike Crabtree and Vic Sapp coaching those Glenwood Bears football teams coming out of the Glenwood Recreation Center back in the early to mid-90’s…Vic and Mike were a coaching team/tandem and they helped a ton of kids over in that Glenwood community and they gave a great amount of their time and money to help those Bears kids and their families and along with Greg Everette and Don Tilley, those men made a difference at Glenwood back in the 1990’s….

Mike and Vic coached both football and basketball coming out of Glenwood and from there they went on to success on the AAU Basketball circuit…Mike was at it for a while, but Vic decided to stick with AAU and rose to the heights of AAU National success and even won a National AAU Basketball Championship with players joining Vic’s teams from all over the East Coast of the United States….

“Tree”/”Big Mike” coached on for a while, but he did not chase the national spotlight that Vic Sapp sought out…Mike preferred more of a low-key approach and enjoyed keeping his efforts down on the local level and he continued to give of his time and help and coach kids on the local basketball level….

Mike Crabtree found a new home at the Greensboro Day School and took on the role of director of security on the Lawndale Drive campus and Mike made GDS and the Bengals his focus and he loved his role with the Bengals…

You would see “Tree”/”Big Mike” out front at the ticket table, near the front door, in the Dillard Athletic Center and you couldn’t miss “Big Mike”…He was a big man and had that signature beard that he had worn for many years…

I went over to check out the Greensboro Parks and Recreation Department’s Youth Football Championships today at Jaycee Park and it was good to see Phil Hardin out there directing game-day operations and that also makes you think back to Phil being another graduate of the Glenwood Recreation Center…Phil was there, Don Tilley was there, Greg Everette was there, in fact I think Greg took over for Don, when Don went to Trotter Center and later Greg moved over to the Roger Brown Recreation Center on Vandalia Road and Phil Hardin became the “Big Man” at Lewis Center for a time…

But this time belongs to Mike “Tree” Crabtree and “Big Mike”, as I liked to call him…

Mike Crabtree was very active in the GreensboroSports Community and he was a fixture with the Glenwood Bears and in more recent years a fixture and part of the glue that helped hold the core of the Greensboro Day School together, on Lawndale Drive…

We saw the report on Mike Crabtree at the News and Record site and then after being at the GPR Youth Football today and Mike’s tight connection to youth football back in the day, I made the phone call to Greensboro Day School legendary men’s/boy’s basketball coach Freddy Johnson this afternoon and he confirmed what I had seen on-line at the N&R web site of www.greensboro.com….

This was the Mike Crabtree that we knew and he was just a year or two older than me at his passing and Freddy told us Mike had been battling Stage 4 Colon Cancer since back in June of this year and that “Big Mike”/”Tree” had succumbed to the Cancer on Thursday morning and his funeral would be this coming Monday at 3pm…

Thanks to Coach Johnson for his help in getting us the verified word on the death of Mike Crabtree…We do not want to post reports that we can not confirm and in matters such as the passing of a close friend to the Greensboro Community, it must be mandatory to verify this info….

We will miss “Big Mike”/”Tree”….He was just a nice person and a ‘Bear of a Man’ and with the look of his beard, he could hold his own with just about anybody that he would come in contact with…You could feel safe around “Big Mike”/”Tree”….

Mike Crabtree was one of the good ones you meet over the years and with his passing our thoughts and prayers go out to his immediate family and his close friends and especially to his wife and stepson Michael….

“Big Mike/”Tree” gone, but his memories are still here to carry on….

The word from the News and Record on Mike Crabtree from the Saturday November 5 on-line edition….
www.greensboro.com

Crabtree, Mike “Tree”

GREENSBORO Mike “Tree” Crabtree, 60, died Thursday, November 3, 2016. A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m., Monday, November 7, at Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church, 5120 Burlington Rd. Gate City Cremations is serving the family.


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