Becky Hatcher Crabtree was born in Bluefield, WV in 1953. She grew up with three brothers and the love of the outdoors, animals, and basketball. Her goal as a little girl was to become a doctor.
She attended Glenwood School, graduated from Princeton High School and earned a two-year degree from Virginia Interment College (now defunct), a bachelor’s in PE and Science from Bluefield State College, a masters’s degree in gifted education from WV College of Graduate Studies (no longer in existence – do you see a trend here?). She worked on a doctorate at Virginia Tech, presented papers at Oxford University (yep, in England) and became a teacher instead of a doctor.
Her teaching career began in Bradshaw, WV and led to Welch, Princeton, Bramwell, Bluewell, then to the wilds of Monroe County where she settled for a decade before heading north to Alaska. Two decades there in Barrow and Atqasuk then she retired and returned to Monroe County, WV.
Crabtree established an alternative high school in Barrow, the Kiita Learning Community and coached girls basketball at all levels. She fell in love with the students of the North Slope and says she “left part of her heart there.”
Her first book is a collection of essays about coaching girls basketball on the North Slope, all first hand and all accentuating the difference in coaching there and in mainstream America. Her second book, Drunk on Peace and Quiet, a novel, is about to roll off the presses.
Equality for women and local history are passions of hers, as are her three daughters and four grandchildren. Becky Hatcher Crabtree retired from public school teaching on the North Slope of Alaska five years ago and returned home to Monroe County in southern West Virginia. She lives with hubby Roger on a small retirement farm in the Appalachian mountains. They have sheep, donkeys, dogs, cats, fainting goats, chickens, and an alpaca. She continues to coach, now at Peterstown Middle School, and enjoys grandchildren and life on her Peters Mountain farm.
Her first book, a collection of essays titled ALASKA HOOPS: TALES FROM THE GIRLS’ LOCKER ROOM was published in 2009 by Fathom Publishing Company, Anchorage, Alaska and features vignettes from Crabtree’s life as an Alaskan basketball coach in Barrow and Atqasuk.