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1 of 28 | Posted by: Valenda Newell - Indianapolis, IN

“Deepest Sympathy. ”
2 of 28 | Posted by: The Lee Tyson Family - MO

“I wish I could be in Indpls, in person to share with the family the loss of such a great man that will historically be considered a great American...Read More »
3 of 28 | Posted by: David Hardiman - San Francisco, CA

“I am extending my deepest condolences at this time. I did not have the opportunity to meet this legendary man but his legacy I will remember for the...Read More »
4 of 28 | Posted by: Lorna Brummer - Indianapolis, IN

“I will always be thankful for your encouragement for the pursuit of excellence and the determination to achieve one's goal. ”
5 of 28 | Posted by: James Spaulding - New York City, NY

6 of 28 | Posted by: James H. Woodard, Sr. - IN

“Our deepest condolences from the Talifarro family. ”
7 of 28 | Posted by: Darrell R. Talifarro - Flint, MI

“May your family continue to go straight ahead based on the positive images and accomplishments which Ray Crowe portrayed. I'm sure his 1950's...Read More »
8 of 28 | Posted by: Lynne Ridley - Bklyn., NY

“My sincere condolences to the Crowe family. Of my many memories growing up in Indy, Coach Crowe stands out as an icon; the State of Indiana is...Read More »
9 of 28 | Posted by: Donnie Ladson - Stockbridge, GA

“To The Crowe Family, You are in our prayers, our community has lost one of it's shining stars. ”
10 of 28 | Posted by: Henry and Ruth Woods - IN

“To The Crowe Family: I was very sorry to hear of the passing of Mr. Crowe. I was a student at CAHS during a few of his coaching years and they...Read More »
11 of 28 | Posted by: Mary Roddy Molton - Cleveland, OH

“To The Family Of Ray P. Crowe: You have our love and prayers. John & Mary Walton ”
12 of 28 | Posted by: John & Mary Walton - Indianapolis, IN

13 of 28 | Posted by: james e. pipes [nephew] - IN

“May God continue to always bless and keep you. ”
14 of 28 | Posted by: James & Elinor Nelson - IN

“Growing up in a small northern Indiana county some of my fondest memories are watching the state tournament basketball games on Channel 6 and the...Read More »
15 of 28 | Posted by: Lanny Sigo - lafayette, IN

“Dearest Kathy, Please know our heartfelt prayers are with you and your brothers and sister during this time of loss. Sincerely, Janice Valentine ”
16 of 28 | Posted by: Janice Williams Valentine - DC

“Indianapolis has truly lost a great leader and friend. More importantly, his family has lost a great father and husband. He will be missed by one...Read More »
17 of 28 | Posted by: Lorraine Knox - Indianapolis, IN

“The love, joy and quiet peace that was in Ray Crowe is with us now during this holiday season. We will always remember him as our coach, teacher,...Read More »
18 of 28 | Posted by: Dr. and Mrs. Lonnie D. McIntyre - TN

“My prayer is that GOD will receive Ray Crowe's soul into His eternal rest. Ray was a legend in his time! May GOD comfort the family and friends as...Read More »
19 of 28 | Posted by: Dr. Lonnie D. McIntyre - Farragut, TN

“Ray Crowe was the Greatest Coach I have ever new.In gym class he let us play basketball against the basketball team.He told me that if anything...Read More »
20 of 28 | Posted by: Henry (Hank) Collins Jr. - IN

“May God Bless you and your family. ”
21 of 28 | Posted by: Charlotte Walker - Columbus, OH

“"The can beat everybody, but they can't beat us!" Those were inspirational words for a whole school of young black Americans in 1955 and 1956. For...Read More »
22 of 28 | Posted by: Ruthie Collins McIntyre - TN

“I am so sorry for your loss. Mr Crowe was a great mentor for me. ”
23 of 28 | Posted by: Frederick Upshaw - Orlando, FL

“Our deepest sympahy, we share your loss as we attended Crispus Attucks during the Ray Crowe, era. He was a great coach and gentleman. ”
24 of 28 | Posted by: Irvin M. Canady Sr. - Valparaiso, IN

“I don't have any words to take away the sorrow,but I want you to know I care. Ray Crowe was the Greatest Coach I have ever new.In gym class he let...Read More »
25 of 28 | Posted by: Henry (Hank) Collins Jr. - IN

“My prayers are with the family in this time of deep sorrow. Coach Crow was role model for every African American child that grew up in the...Read More »
26 of 28 | Posted by: Phil - Los Angeles, CA

“Sharing your sorrow And hoping it will comfort you To know that many hearts reach out to you In sympathy. . . ”
27 of 28 | Posted by: Miriam E. Pipes - Detroit, MI

“God speed to a wonderful human being and mentor who led by example. A Love Supreme! Larry Ridley ”
28 of 28 | Posted by: Larry Ridley - New York, NY

Ray P. Crowe an Indiana basketball legend and public office holder, died Saturday at age 88.

Crowe leaves a legacy as coach of two consecutive Attucks High School state championship basketball teams. He was a member of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame.

Crowe also gained wide recognition in public service, serving as a state lawmaker, Indianapolis City-County Councilman and Indianapolis City Parks Director.

Among players on his championship teams in 1955 and 1956 was Oscar Robertson, a legend in high school, college and professional basketball.

Crowe was head coach from 1950 to 1957 at Attucks, which at the time was an all-black downtown high school. It was later desegregated and became a middle school in 1986.

During his headcoaching career at Attucks, Crowe had a 179-20 record.

Attucks was the first all-black high school in the nation to win a state championship and also was the first high school in Indianapolis to win a state title.

Born May 30, 1915, in Johnson County, Crowe played basketball at Whiteland High School, where he was the team's leading scorer for two years.

After graduating from Indiana Central College in 1939 and working as a sweeper at International Harvester, Crowe took a job as a physical education teacher at Indianapolis Public School 17 before he was hired at Attucks.

In 1951, when assisted by one of his best players, Willie Gardner, the Attucks Tigers won the Indianapolis Sectional and reached the state finals, losing to Evansville Reitz.

Two years later, the Tigers reached the semi-finals, losing to the Shelbyville Golden Bears.

In 1954, the Tigers lost to a team from tiny Milan in southeastern Indiana. Milan proceeded in the tournament to make underdog history by capturing the state title.

"He was truly a man of character; he treated all people, regardless of religion or race, fairly," said Hallie Bryand, an Indiana Basketball Hall of Famer who played on Crowe's 1951 team.

"I can sum him up in four words; firm, fair, flexible and frank," Bryant said. "He gave tough love before the term even came into play,. Not just for his athletes, but for his students and everybody he knew."

In 1955, the Tigers defeated Gary Roosevelt 94-74 to capture its first state title.

With standout Robertson still on the team, the Tigers went 32-0 the next year to win their second title.

During those two seasons, the Tigers compiled a 62-1 record.

Purdue University history professor Randy Roberts wrote in the 1999 book, "But They Can't Beat Us; Oscar Robertson and Crispus Attucks Tigers";

"In some ways Crowe was trapped between two generations of black men, burning with a desire both to fit in and be accepted by whites and to slash through all racial barriers to victory. In public he could never show how much he wanted to win; he had to play the role of the gracious loser. But the mild courtside exterior was a mask. He was never, ever content with second place. He was a competitor."

Robertson, in his own book "The Big O," published this year, wrote that he felt Attucks was a victim of "a bunch of white, hometown refs making calls. Coach Crowe used it to motivate us. At least once a trip he'd say, "Get a big lead and keep it. Then the referees and crowds won't have anything to do with it."

After leaving coaching, Crowe became the school's athletic director and maintained that position for 11 years. During his tenure, the basketball program saw continued success, winning a third state title in 1959 under coach Bill Garrett, a legendary Indiana high school basketball player from Shelbyville.

Crowe retired in 1967 and was elected to the Indiana House of Representatives, where he served from 1967 to 1975. He then served on the City-County Council from 1983 to 1987. He also served as director of the Indianapolis Department of Parks and Recreation from 1976 to 1979.

Services will be held at Crispus Attucks Middle School Gymnasium, with calling at Flanner & Buchanan Funeral Center - Washington Park North. The times are pending.

Survivors include his ex-wife, Betty Ewing Crowe; children, Larry and Lloyd Crowe, Linda Knight and Katherine Williams; and grandchildren, Oilvia Knight and Wesley Robert Crowe.