Father takes over baseball team for late son at Estill County High


IRVINE, Ky. (WTVQ) – The former head coach of the Estill County High School baseball team is coming out of retirement to take over the program under unimaginable circumstances.

When Brian Crowe retired as the Engineers head coach, he was succeeded by his son, Blake Crowe, a former star player at Estill County High.

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Blake’s first season as head coach last season was canceled by the pandemic.  He finally realized a dream by following in his father’s footsteps, hitting the field with his team this season only to be tragically killed in what the Estill County coroner called freak accident at the Crowe home last week.  The coroner says a flagpole outside Crowe’s home fell onto an electric line, knocking it to the ground.  It had been raining, so the ground was wet and the coroner says Crowe was electrocuted while in his yard.

The Estill County Board of Education announced on its Facebook page Friday that Brian Crowe would take over the high school baseball team for the rest of the season.

The post says practice will resume this weekend.  Weather permitting, the team is scheduled to host Breathitt County at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, May 17.

The social media post thanked everyone across the 14th Region and Kentucky for their support over the past week to honor the memory of Coach Blake Crowe.

In addition to his parents, Crowe left behind a wife and two children.

A Gofundme account was created for Blake Crowe’s family.  For a link to that page, click here.


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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.