Carver pins hopes on former NFL star
City native and former NFL baller Germane Crowell is the newest head football coach at Carver High School.
Crowell, who played six seasons for the Detroit Lions and a single season for the New Orleans Saints, accepted the position Jan. 11.
“I’m feeling great,” the father of four said of his new position. “I’m definitely excited about the opportunity to coach high school football, but I’m more excited about the opportunity to build strong character in young men and use football as a vehicle to do that.”
Crowell is currently an exceptional children’s teacher’s assistant at his alma mater, North Forsyth High School, but will be joining the staff at Carver within the coming week.
“I’m very excited to work with this generation of kids,” said the University of Virginia alumnus. “I really think that the high school level is the level where you can make the greatest impact and I’m looking forward to that.”
Principal Ronald Travis, who has been at the helm of Carver Nation for the past four years, says the football program – which has earned three state titles and 15 conference championships – plays an important role in the culture of Carver and its ability to connect with the community.
“Carver High School has a very strong program,” he remarked. “Our Alumni Association and the community really rally around the high school football team, so it’s a major part of the community in terms of bringing the community together for one common goal. Win or lose, they still support the program.”
While establishing a good record is important, the school’s top administrator says athletics is secondary to academics. He believes that Crowell will make sure the “student” part of student-athlete is not forgotten.
“With these young men, out of roughly 70 ball players, there’s probably only going to be about 10 or 12 who really have the skill set (to play college ball),” said Travis. “A good coach will prepare them so that academically, they’re ready to go to college regardless. I began to talk with (Crowell) about his vision for a football program and he never talked about wins and losses. He mainly talked about shaping and molding young men. He left an impression on me as it relates to his vision for molding and shaping young men and preparing them for life after high school football.”
Carver Athletic Director Aaron Bailey attended high school at around the same time as Crowell and says Crowell’s drive and determination were evident even then.
“He was a tremendous athlete. The main thing I remember was he was a fierce competitor, and I think he’ll bring that same spirit to Carver and our student-athletes,” said the Mount Tabor alumnus. “We’re not going to win them all, we’re not going to lose them all, but you’re definitely going to know we were there.”
Bailey said Crowell’s experience at every level of football will give him the perspective and wisdom to help the students enhance their skill sets and prepare for what’s ahead in their athletic careers.
Fervor for the football program has been stagnant in recent years, and Bailey is hopeful that Crowell, who is also the pastor of Burning Flame Christian Church, will bring a new excitement to Yellow Jackets football.
“I think it’s going to help bring back the Carver that we once knew,” he said. “When you’re going over to David Lash Stadium, you know you’re in for a (good) ball game.
Crowell, the son of a Carver alumnus, succeeds former Head Coach Melvin Palmer, who bowed out after the 2012 season, Travis said. Palmer will retain his position on staff as a history teacher at the school.
“It was a mutual decision that he not return as coach,” Travis said of Palmer, who was head coach for three seasons.
Crowell, the older brother of former Buffalo Bills linebacker Angelo Crowell, said the new position is a dream come true for him.
“This is something that I’ve always wanted to do, to be a head coach, to have the opportunity to lead young men and give them a foundation in not only the sport, but in life,” he declared. “I come from a long lineage of athletes and football has afforded us the opportunity to do a lot of great things, not just for ourselves but for our families and for the community. That’s just who we are. I’m excited about having the opportunity to be able to lead Carver into a new future, into a new destiny.”