As a longtime fixture in the area as a student-athlete, coach and administrator, Crunk was well-liked and respected as a role model for young people.
So, as a sign of respect, the Cobb County School District recently created the Tim Crunk Athletic Director of the Year award, which will be given annually to the athletic director who best exemplifies the attitude for which Crunk was known.
“Some of our veteran ADs, like John Kelly at Kennesaw Mountain, Jimmy Dorsey at McEachern, Chuck Stines at South Cobb, Christian Suttle at Walton and Art O’Neill at Lassiter, and others — we talked at the start of the school year last year about how much we missed Tim, and we wanted to honor him in some way,” said Steve Jones, director of athletics for the school district.
“So, we came up with this award as a way to recognize our ADs and to honor Tim. He was an outstanding athletic director, and this was a great way to honor his legacy.”
According to Jones, the idea behind the award had been discussed for a number of years, but it really took hold and became a reality after Crunk’s death.
“The Georgia Athletic Directors Association gives out athletic director of the year awards to each region every year,” Jones said. “Some of our ADs have won it the past couple of years, but we’ve never had an award for the 16 schools in the county, so we decided to put all 16 schools together and have the award.”
With the award created, the next objective was to determine who would be its first recipient. Jones conferred with a few other county athletic directors and came up with the most logical choice.
“About four to five of us put the idea together and decided that (Sprayberry principal) John Kelly was the best choice,” Jones said. “He was the AD at Kennesaw Mountain before he got the Sprayberry job, and he mentored Tim before Tim went to be the AD at Sprayberry. They were great friends, so it was fitting that John be the first person to receive the award.”
Kelly was recently presented the award during a meeting of the county’s athletic directors at Sprayberry. Crunk’s widow, Leslie, attended the event and shared her memories of Tim, and the ADs shared their memories of Crunk and his positive influence on athletics, students and teachers in the county.
“It was a complete surprise when they announced I had won the award,” said Kelly, who taught with Crunk for 10 years at Kennesaw Mountain. “I was closer to Tim than any of the other guys in the county.
“He was a great guy, and I’m humbled to be the first person to have the award named after him, and I’m humbled that the ADs and Steve thought so highly of me to get the award.”
Jones said that a plaque with Kelly’s name, and those of future winners, will be placed at the school district’s headquarters within the next few weeks.