Former Crystal Lake Central girls basketball coach Derek Crabill hired as Woodstock North’s new AD

Crabill was Tigers girls basketball coach since 2016

Derek Crabill, Woodstock North athletic director

When Derek Crabill learned that Woodstock North athletic director Dave Rose was leaving to become the associate principal for athletics at Downers Grove North at the end of the school year, the Crystal Lake Central girls basketball coach was intrigued.

Crabill wasn’t planning on making a big move, but the timing and opportunity was too good to pass up.

Crabill, who lives about a mile from North, and wife Shauna currently have a daughter, Addy, at the school. His oldest, Avery, graduated two years ago. Crabill interviewed for the open position the week before spring break and was hired as the new athletic director for the Thunder at Tuesday’s District 200 school board meeting.

Crabill, a 1995 Huntley graduate, will take over July 1. He taught science at Central for 12 years and was the girls basketball coach since 2016, winning regional titles in 2019 and the most recent season. Crabill also had coaching stints in boys and girls golf.

“I was never planning on it,” Crabill said. “I was very comfortable and happy continuing to teach and coach, and then I saw on social media that Dave Rose was leaving. I started to think about the potential, and after weighing all the pros and cons and talking it over with my family, I thought it was a very unique opportunity.

“One in which I thought I could take some of the lessons I’ve learned at Central and apply them to an entire department. All while getting to watch my daughter the next couple of years and eventually my youngest daughter [Ainsley] if she decides to play sports. I can do all of that while being able to see them compete, and that opportunity I know doesn’t come around every day.”

Before Central, Crabill was a sophomore boys basketball coach at Richmond-Burton and a boys and girls basketball coach at McHenry. He also coached the JV men’s basketball team at Clarke University in Dubuqe, Iowa, where he played and graduated.

Crabill said it has been hard not being able to watch Addy, a sophomore and three-sport athlete in volleyball, basketball, softball, compete as regularly as he would like. Now, he’ll get that opportunity more often.

“Woodstock North has been her world, and so I imagine this seems like I’m infringing upon that a little bit,” Crabill said. “But she’s talked about the potential opportunity of going out and grabbing coffee or sharing one of her flex periods and having lunch together.”

Crabill said his wife is excited that she will no longer have to fight the difficult balance of watching his games at Central and Addy’s at North. She also wonders what he will do with all his orange clothes, now that he’ll no longer be a Tiger.

“I hope I can inspire people to find ways to work together better so the kids at Woodstock North are making championship choices in their lives.”

—  Derek Crabill, new Woodstock North athletic director

Crabill wants to bring a family atmosphere to North – the same type he helped build with his teams at Central.

“The things we were able to do at Central, building a family atmosphere and hopefully making a huge impact on the young women, those things were and are important to me,” Crabill said. “To leave those things behind and take on this role was extremely difficult.

“But I also think it’s those experiences that has led me to a place where I can take that on and hopefully affect a larger portion of Woodstock North. I’m super proud of all the work our coaching staff has done at Central. And I’m super proud of all of the young women that have come through our program. I’ve literally seen them grow up since first grade through our camps and feeder programs.”

Woodstock North principal Josh Segura said Crabill will be a great fit with his connections at the school. On days Crabill had early practices or did not have a game at Central, he was regularly at North watching his daughters play.

“We’re excited about his passion for developing strong student leaders and about his commitment to a positive school culture,” Segura said.

Woodstock North's Adelyn Crabill looks to pass as Woodstock's Lily Novelle defends during their game on Wednesday, February 7, 2024 at Woodstock High School. Ryan Rayburn for Shaw Local

Crabill is looking forward to a new challenge.

“I think the first several days will be me learning some things,” Crabill said. “I’m really excited to go to North and have new challenges that are built around camaraderie and teamwork. And that’s my goal. I hope that I can challenge people.

“I hope I can inspire people to find ways to work together better so the kids at Woodstock North are making championship choices in their lives.”

Crabill feels lucky to have had so many mentors along the way.

“I’ve been blessed not only to work with good staffs and good coaches at Central,” Crabill said. “I’ve also had great mentors at Richmond Burton, same thing at McHenry. You start to reflect a little bit on things that you’ve been through and all the experiences and the people. The fact I’ve gotten to work under three really good athletic directors at those three institutions is is a blessing and I probably did not understand it at the time.”

Although his new commute is right down the street, Crabill will still travel by car. He used to give his daughters a hard time about that.

Those words may have come back to bite him.

“Now I guess they’ll be able to do the same thing to me because I don’t see myself walking to school every day,” Crabill said.