Crowley’s Ridge College and Harding University Sign Formal Memorandum of Understanding

CRC continues to pave new academic pathways through a new partnership with Harding University’s Center for Leadership and Development.  In March 2024, Crowley’s Ridge College and Harding University agreed to and signed a formal memorandum of understanding.  This agreement will provide the opportunity for CRC alumni and employees to pursue graduate level degrees at a discounted (15% off) tuition rate.  The degrees are as follows:

  1. Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership (30 hours)
  2. Graduate Certificate in Executive and Workplace Coaching (12 hours)
  3. Graduate Certificate in Human Resource Management (12 hours)
  4. Graduate Certificate in Training and Development (12 hours)

Any CRC graduate and/or employee holding a Bachelor’s degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA will receive a 15% tuition discount upon admission to Harding University’s Center for Leadership and Development.  Current undergraduate students who are expected to participate in May 2024 commencement are eligible for incentives.

For more information on the details of this agreement, visit

Three CRC Professors Promoted to Associate

Crowley’s Ridge College is pleased to announce that faculty members Marta Summitt, Ashley Hankins, and Zach Grimes, Ph.D. have each been promoted to the rank of Associate Professor.  Current and prospective faculty members are eligible for this promotion/appointment by having at least ten years experience in higher education, three of which being at CRC.

Mrs. Summitt is one of CRC’s longest-tenured professors, and is a valuable asset to the college’s Division of Business and Technology.  She works tirelessly each and every day to better the lives of her students by mentoring, guiding, and instilling Christian values in each and every one of them.  She advises most of the Business majors on campus.  Summitt is married to Daniel, a Crowley’s Ridge Academy employee, and together they have three wonderful children.  They attend the 7th and Mueller Church of Christ.

Ashley Hankins wears many hats at CRC.  She is a full-time English Professor in the Division of Arts and Sciences, teaching courses in Composition and Literature.  She also serves as the Learning Management System Director and the Director of the on-campus Learning Center.  Hankins and her husband, Ryan, attend the Hillcrest Church of Christ.

Dr. Zach Grimes came to CRC in 2021 from Murfreesboro, TN and has instructed various courses in the Division of Arts & Sciences.  He was recently named the interim Chair of the Division of Teacher Education.  In addition to his research and teaching experience, Dr. Grimes is the Chair of the college’s Academic Assessment committee.  He has had the opportunity to go into classrooms and teach life science lessons for students at multiple grade levels.  He is passionate about helping the next generation of teachers discover their love of teaching.  He and his wife, KristyAnn, along with their son, Greyson, attend the Center Hill Church of Christ.

“I can’t begin to express how unbelievably proud I am of all three of these remarkable and influential faculty members,” says Vice President for Academic Affairs, Jeremy Pierce.  “Dr. Grimes, Mrs. Hankins and Mrs. Summitt are certainly deserving of this accomplishment and this is just the next piece of evidence that CRC academics continue to thrive and excel.”

Congratulations to these three talented professionals!  Crowley’s Ridge College students and staff are blessed to have each of them.

Richardson Named Head Coach as Phillips Departs for ASUN

by Wil Teague, Sports Information Director

News on the Ridge! As the 2023 Lady Pioneers Basketball season is now officially over, there have been some changes to the Pioneer Staff. After three years, Head Coach Brad Phillips has decided to depart ways with CRC as he plans to take on a new role and position in the newly launched A-SUN Aviators athletic programs. Phillips will be named the Aviators first Athletic Director and in 2024 he will resume his role in coaching as the school plans to start a Women’s Basketball program. Phillips has had three prosperous years at CRC with an official record of 41-34. Phillips led the Lady Pioneers to three consecutive conference tournament appearances and one national tournament appearance in 2020-21. Phillips finished his time at CRC with the school’s best overall record of 18 wins and 10 losses. 

Towards the tail of the 2023 record season, the program welcomed Chris Richardson as he stepped into the assistant coaching role for the Pioneers. Richardson filled a void helping with the in-game coordinating of rotations and substitutions. He also helped schedule out practice plans, game plans and co-ran practices and Phillips. Richardson in addition has stepped into the door of active recruiting for the program. With Richardson on the bench, the Pioneers went on a 6 game win streak, the longest in CRC history, only having it snapped in round one of the CAC tournament to Arkansas Baptist with Richardson ending his assistant role  6-1.

 “The team was excited to have Coach Richardson among them as he brought youth, energy, and experience to the girls” – said Coach Phillips. 

Richardson comes from a sports filled  background as he graduated from Williams Baptist University with two Bachelor Degrees in 2013. One on K-12 Health and Physical Education and another in Arts in History. He played four years of baseball at WBU and was selected as the captain of the team his senior year. Richardson worked at his Alma-Mater as Assistant Sports Information Director and Assistant Softball Coach for one season as he completed his masters degree in Sport Administration from Arkansas State University in 2014. Before coming to CRC Richardson was the head Softball Coach at Rector High School (Ark.) for three seasons where he led the Lady Cougars to three successful seasons and was nominated twice for the all star coach for the 2A-3 Conference. While at Rector High School, Richardson served as the Women’s assistant coach for the basketball team over five seasons. The Lady Cougars finished in the Elite Eight of the 2A state tournament in 2022 and made back-to-back state tournament appearances for the first time in school history. The squad also finished as runner-up in the conference in consecutive seasons. 

” I’m excited to be able to go to ASU- Newport and be their first Athletic Director, but I’m incredibly sad to be leaving the best team CRC has seen. These girls are great, it’s hard saying goodbye to such a great team but like I said before, Chris brings good energy and experience to the program, he will do great here. He is a true student of the game and has a-lot to offer CRC.”- Brad Phillips

” I am honored and thrilled to be the Head Women’s Basketball Coach at CRC. I would like to thank President Richard Johnson and our Athletic Director Paul McFadden for this opportunity. I would also like to thank Brad Phillips for this investment into the program and our student-athletes. Crowley’s Ridge College has been a blessing to our entire family and I could not be more excited.” Chris Richardson 

Athletic Director Paul McFadden commented on the news as well, 

“We want to wish Coach Phillips good luck as he moves on from CRC to ASUN.  He helped the lady Pioneers make good progress in building our program.”  

“We are excited to have Coach Chris Richardson take over our Women’s Basketball program for the upcoming season.  He brings good experience from the high school ranks (Rector High School) and will jump right in to continue our program that has experienced success over the last few seasons.  I feel Coach Rich will do an outstanding job in recruiting and coaching the Lady Pioneers in the Fall of 2023.”- Paul McFadden CRC Athletic Director 

Exciting times are upon us at the Ridge. There are many more records to be set and broken at CRC. Good-luck Coach Phillips and welcome aboard Coach Richardson! #GOPIONEERS