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An emotional Jim Crews bids farewell to Saint Louis

BROOKLYN-It didn’t take but a couple minutes after Saint Louis’ 75-63 loss to George Washington for the news to break: Jim Crews was officially done as head coach of the Billikens.

In a press release from the university, Director of Athletics Chris May notified fans and media alike of the staff change.

“After reviewing the 2015-16 season and talking with Coach Crews, I have decided that a change in leadership of the men’s basketball program is needed for the program to move forward in meeting our goals,” May said. “Jim has represented our University well and has helped the program achieve success on the court and in the classroom. His character and commitment are exemplary, which made this decision ever more difficult.”

In the press conference following the game, an emotional Crews acknowledged the decision that he would be done after four years with the program.

“I’ve had a very, very blessed career. A blessed life.” he said. “My success or lack of success have nothing to do with my self-worth. That’s a very valuable lesson that I’ve learned.”

While the news may not come as a shock to SLU fans (the Billikens are a combined 21-41 over the last two seasons), the speed at which the report was spread did. The media in the press conference room began receiving the update via Twitter from CBS’s Gary Parrish just minutes before Crews entered the room alone.

At the podium, Crews gave a moving speech reflecting on his past couple years with the program.

“Obviously we didn’t win, and I’d like to apologize,” he said. “When you don’t win, you make someone’s job harder. Coaching will test your spirit. I always had a staff that when I get wobbly, they pick me up right quick”.

“I’ve recruited the best ever,” he said, holding back emotion. “and that’s my wife, Kim.”

Crews leaves behind the legacy of two Third Round appearances in the NCAA Tournament. It may be time for a change at the helm of Saint Louis basketball, but Crews’ work and influence on the program will not soon be forgotten.