Rick Crawford is new coach for Mesa cycling team

Former U.S. Cyclist team member Rick Crawford built the Fort Lewis College program into a national title contender.

Now, the 52-year-old hopes to do that with the Colorado Mesa cycling program.

“I love collegiate cycling,” the Mavs’ new coach said. “That’s my primary passion.”

Crawford built the Fort Lewis College program into a USA Cycling Division I national title contender in his eight seasons there.

He stepped away from collegiate cycling in 2009 and coached professionally. He’s coached dozens of U.S. national champions, world champions and Olympians. He trained Tour de France cyclists like Lance Armstrong, Tom Danielson and Levi Leipheimer, among others, but is ready to return to the collegiate scene.

“I’m ready to build another program,” Crawford said. “(Mesa) is investing more into cycling. I told them my vision and they share it.”

The Mesa cycling program currently has 20 scholarships, Crawford said, but he hopes to raise more money and bring in more cyclists to the USA Cycling Division II program.

The Mavericks won the 2011 U.S. Cycling Division 2 men’s team time trial championship and finished second in the men’s omnium (overall) standings at the Collegiate Road Nationals in Madison, Wis., in May 2011. Mesa competes in the Rocky Mountain Collegiate Cycling Conference.

Current Mesa coach Richard Geng, who is also a cyclist on the team, will remain the coach through the spring semester. He is expected to graduate in May then return to his native country, Germany.


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