Jim Crews is no longer the interim coach of the St. Louis Billikens. He was named the head coach on Friday, and there is no question that it was the right thing to do.
Crews took over as the interim coach last year when head coach Rick Majerus was hospitalized because of heart trouble. Majerus died in December, and Crews faced the prospect of coaching under the most difficult of circumstances.
There is no game plan or playbook in place for how to move forward when a program loses a coach in tragic fashion. Yet, Crews handled everything so well. He kept St. Louis on track and the Billikens finished 28-7 and were No. 13 in the final national poll. The win total was the highest in program history.
St. Louis won the Atlantic-10 regular-season title and won the conference tournament as well before getting an opportunity to play in the NCAA tournament. St. Louis could have easily gone the other way, and it could have suffered through a difficult year.
But, the Billikens showed tremendous resolve in the wake of adversity and a lot of that credit goes to Crews. He is a veteran coach with 25 years of experience, and that will serve him well as he goes forward in leading the basketball team at St. Louis.
The Billikens are in good hands. Crews has proven he can do the job and considering what he has done up to this point, my guess is he will continue to thrive in the role as the head coach.
Brian Lester is a college basketball writer at Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @BLester1993.