Sylvia Crawley was named Ohio's head women's basketball coach on April 18, 2006. A native of Steubenville, Ohio and a Steubenville High School graduate, Crawley is the tenth head coach in the history of the program.
In her first year, Crawley led the Bobcats to an 18-12, 10-6 MAC record; doubling the amount of overall and conference wins from the year prior to her arrival.
Crawley's 18-win debut was the most wins since the 1994-95 season and marked the third most wins in program history. It also is the best start that any Bobcat women's basketball coach has ever had. In addition, the Bobcats won their first game against a ranked opponent with a 70-67 win over No. 16/18 Bowling Green on its home court; snapping the Falcons' 39-game conference winning streak and 29-game home winning streak.
Prior to Ohio, Crawley spent the 2005-06 campaign as the top assistant at Fordham University. She was involved in all aspects of the program, including recruiting, player development and game preparation. Following the retirement of Rams' head coach Jim Lewis, Crawley was elevated to interim head coach.
Crawley also served as an assistant coach at her alma mater North Carolina from 2000-02. In her two seasons with the Tar Heels, the team posted a combined 41-23 record and advanced to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen in 2002. Crawley performed a variety of duties, including recruiting, player development, opponent scouting and monitoring the off-season conditioning programs.
Crawley began coaching after a stellar playing career both at the collegiate and professional levels. While at North Carolina, Crawley captained the 1993-94 Tar Heels to a 33-2 record and the national championship, where she was named the Final Four Coaches MVP. Crawley was named to the East Region All-Tournament Team and was the ninth-leading scorer in the NCAA Tournament, averaging 14.3 points in the Tar Heels' six games. She also helped North Carolina to the 1994 ACC Tournament championship and was named to the All-ACC Tournament Team.
Crawley's success at North Carolina was not limited to one season. She had her #00 jersey honored in 2000, becoming one of just nine players in school history to have their jersey retired or honored. She is one of 24 players ever to score 1,000 career points at North Carolina and still ranks among the school's all-time top 10 in blocked shots and field goal percentage. In 2003, she was named to the ACC's 50th Anniversary Team. She was also the recipient of the Dapper Dan Sportswoman of the Year Award which recognizes the local sports figures who shine the brightest light on the city of Pittsburgh and surrounding areas.
In addition to her collegiate success, Crawley has played at the professional level for 12 years. She was the 1995 USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year after helping the United States to a sliver medal at the World University Games. She was chosen as an alternate for the 1996 Olympic team, and helped the U.S. to a silver medal at the 1997 World Championship Qualifying Tournament.
Crawley began her professional career in the Pro European League playing for France and Spain from 1994-96. She returned to the United States and was drafted in te first round as a premier player for the Colorado Explosion of the American Basketball League. She helped the squad to a Western Conference title. Crawley won the first-ever ABL women's slam dunk contest in 1998, completing a blindfolded slam. She moved on to the ABL's Portland Power from 1998-99, earning another Western Conference championship. Crawley went back to the Pro European League in Reggio, Italy from 1999-2000 before joining the WNBA as a member of the Portland Fire where she was a team captain. After Portland, she was sent in a dispersal draft to the San Antonio Silver Stars where she also served as a captain. While with San Antonio, Crawley gained experience working with the San Antonio Spurs/Stars front office. She was involved in a variety of tasks, including marketing, public relations, operations and management. She resumed her playing career in Korea in 2005.
Crawley is also a very active clinician. She has organized her own basketball camp since 1995 and has worked at a variety of camps and clinics since 1994. She was a coach at the Michael Jordan Basketball Camp from 1992-94. Crawley is also an active motivational speaker, presenting to youth groups and schools at various events, including the Steubenville High School commencement in 1998.