Travis Crain returns ‘home’ as Mustangs basketball coach

New Marble Falls High School head boys basketball coach Travis Crain (left) stands with retired Mustangs head basketball coach Larry Berkman, who is now a member of the Marble Falls Independent School District Board of Trustees. The board approved Crain’s hire May 9. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

New Marble Falls High School head boys basketball coach Travis Crain (left) stands with retired Mustangs head basketball coach Larry Berkman, who is now a member of the Marble Falls Independent School District Board of Trustees. The board approved Crain’s hire May 9. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

 

CORRECTION: A previous headline for this story had coach Travis Crain’s name misspelled as Cain. DailyTrib.com apologizes for the error.

STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO

Travis Crain is back in purple and gold — this time as the head boys basketball coach at Marble Falls High School.

And he couldn’t be happier.

The Marble Falls Independent School District Board of Trustees approved his hire May 9 during a special meeting.

“I’m happy to be back here,” he said. “I don’t feel like I ever truly left here. I stayed connected to a lot people.”

Crain was an assistant boys basketball coach at Marble Falls from 2010-12 before leaving for Lytle and eventually Dripping Springs. Crain said if felt “backwards” the past five seasons being in the Max Copeland Gym visitor’s locker room when the Dripping Springs Tigers played the Mustangs. After those games, he would talk to old Marble Falls friends, often delaying the Dripping Springs buses’ return trip home.

“I never felt settled,” he said about coaching elsewhere. “To have this chance to come back (to Marble Falls), it felt right.”

Before coming to Marble Falls the first time in 2010, Crain was an assistant women’s basketball coach at Schreiner University in Kerrville for two years. Then-head Mustangs boys basketball coach Bruce Etheridge picked Crain to join the Mustangs staff.

“Bruce had an eye for young coaches who needed an opportunity,” Crain said. “Bruce gave us ownership. It set an example of how to run a staff. You hire great people, you foster those strengths, you help them develop their weaknesses. Bruce cultivated a sense of family.”

The assistant coaches, which included Jeremy Gamez and David President, often scrimmaged the Mustang varsity squad.

“They were fun practices; they were competitive,” Crain said.

It also built a connection between coaches and players.

Crain said he learned a lot from Etheridge about coaching. Gamez and President also went on to become head coaches.

Crain coached for two years at Lytle, where he compiled a 24-30 overall record and made the playoffs in 2012-13.

Crain has spent the past five years at Dripping Springs coaching sub-varsity squads and as the top varsity assistant coach. He handled player development, which included day-to-day training.

Crain considered applying for the Marble Falls job three years ago, the last time the Mustangs were looking for a head boys basketball coach. However, he changed his mind as Dripping Springs was expected to have a phenomenal team in 2016-17. The Tigers lost 58-42 to Corpus Christi Veterans Memorial in the Class 5A Region IV finals that season.

When he heard Marble Falls had a head basketball opening this time around, he put together a resume and applied in the hopes he could return to the place he thinks of as home.

“My little guy (5-year-old Landry with wife Lindsey) is about to start kindergarten,” he said. “If we’re going to leave, it seems the timing would be right in Marble Falls. It felt like home for us; it’s time.”

jfierro@thepicayune.com

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