Take one look at the above picture and you’ll instantly know why people in Indiana love Tom Crean. Despite three years of tough sledding on the court, Crean has the heart of the Hoosier State. The picture shows Crean and his wife Joanie helping in the search for missing Indiana University student Lauren Spierer.
Spierer was last seen early Friday morning (around 4 a.m.) walking in the direction of her apartment complex in Bloomington. A massive search has been mobilized in the area and the community has rallied in an effort to find the 20-year-old who just finished her sophomore year.
Did Crean have to physically get out and help with the search? Absolutely not. But he’s different. I have a feeling most coaches would have posted a tweet about the situation and not given it another thought. Yeah, sure they might feel bad about it, but what could they do to help?
That’s where Crean gets it. Seeing the coach of a major college basketball program put his sport aside to get out and help where he’s really needed is the kind of thing that can help lift people’s spirits in a time of need. He realizes how important this moment is for the IU community and he wants to do whatever he can to help. In that way he’s a part of the community, not just someone loosely involved with it.
So while nationally some have speculated that Crean’s job may be in jeopardy, there’s a reason anyone close to the program knows he’s not going anywhere for a long, long time. This is yet another example of why that’s true.
Hats off to Tom and the entire Crean family for doing what they can to help during this trying time for the Bloomington community.
If you have any information about the disappearance of Lauren Spierer, please contact the Bloomington Police Department at (812) 339-4477.