"Pappy" Crowe retires after 28 years with Boys and Girls Club

Photo by Dave Boyd Darrell "Pappy" Crowe will be retiring on November 15 from the Elizabethton/Carter County Boys and Girls Club after working for 4 years as Executive Director. He has worked with the Boys and Girls Club organization for 28 years.

By Lesley Jenkins
star Staff
After 28 years of dedicated service to the Boys and Girls Club of America, well-known Executive Director Darrell "Pappy" Crowe is retiring. Crowe has been the Executive Director for the Elizabethton/Carter County Boys and Girls Club for four years and for the Johnson City club for 24 years. His last day will be November 15.
Crowe is known to everyone as "Pappy," even the kids that are under his care every day. "Nobody wouldn't know me by any other name." His father was also known as by the nickname and when Crowe was younger he was called "Little Pappy." But he doesn't know why his father got that nickname.
Crowe graduated from East Tennessee State University in 1965 with a bachelor of science degree in Industrial Education and obtained his master's degree in the same field in 1973. In a moment of forgetfulness, Crowe looked down at his class ring for the year he received his master's degree.
He coached and taught from 1965-66 at Old North Junior High School in Johnson City, from 1967-68 at Elizabethton High School, and from 1969-75 at Cocke County High School in Newport, Tenn. After that he started the executive director position at the Johnson City club location.
Four years ago, Crowe assumed the same position at the Elizabethton site. "I just wanted to make a change. I started to retire, but I didn't. I am glad I didn't. I have really enjoyed my work here in Elizabethton," said Crowe. "I enjoyed working with the Board of Directors and the people of Carter County.
"I am 65. I decided I want to spend some time doing some other things," said Crowe. He said he wants to work on his golf game and be available to spend more time with his wife and family, especially his grandchildren. He and his wife, Patricia, have two children, Tammy and Darlene. He also has four grandkids whom he is looking forward to seeing more often. He enjoys golf "because there ain't no telephones and there ain't any noise."
Crowe will also continue being the Head Coach in the Dizzy Dean league, with a summer boy's baseball team, for a couple more years. He has been involved with the team for over 26 years, and for the last six years, his team has been "Dizzy Dean State Champs." The team is made up of 19-year-old boys and under from the Tri-Cities.
Filling the vacant executive director's slot will be John Malone. He will be taking over the position on September 15, at which time Crowe will train him until he leaves in November. Malone has been the Athletic Director for three years and has known "Pappy" for what seems like forever. Malone said he considers "it a privilege and an honor to know Pappy as a friend."
Crowe commented on Malone and said, "I think he will do a good job. He can handle discipline problems and he is able to handle parents."
Malone said he has learned a lot from Crowe. "He has an ability to handle any situation with a lot of character and he never gets rattled."
An important part of the director's job is searching for grants. Over the past year, Crowe has brought in approximately $38,000 in grant money, including an Inland Container grant for $25,000 over three years.
Crowe plans to stay involved with the organization. "I will probably help some if they need help with fund-raisers and the golf tournament," Crowe said.
The best part of working with the organization is the kids that he has gotten to know over the years. "Working with the kids and the staff and seeing kids grow up is the best. I have seen a lot of kids in 28 years. Probably a day doesn't go by that I don't see one that I have either had in Johnson City or here. I see them on the street or something like that."
Although he has worked with so many kids through the years, and so many of them have gone on to become successful people that he is proud of, one kid stands out in his mind. "I have one who was Youth of the Year for the state of Tennessee. He has graduated from college and he is working with the Boys and Girls Club of America, national. His name is Bart McFadden."
When asked about the worst part of his job, Crowe was silent for nearly a minute, and then he replied with a smile, "That's a good question. I don't know about that one. Nothing jumps out at me. It's a people business and you have to learn to get along with parents and board people. You have to be level headed. I think I am pretty level headed. I try to treat people like I would want to be treated."
City of Elizabethton Mayor Sam LaPorte said, "Pappy has been a wonderful asset to the Boys and Girls Club not only at the Elizabethton location but throughout the Tri-Cities area. We will miss him tremendously. We wish him well in his retirement."
Board of Directors member Darlene Tipton said she enjoys working with Crowe because, "He is a real quiet person. He has a quiet authority. He is very respected in the Boys and Girls Club movement because he knows the business of it so well."
Bobby Lee Smith, Regional Service Director in Atlanta for the Boys and Girls Club of America, noted Crowe's dedication, commitment and loyalty to the program. "Given the way people are short-lived in careers, he is one of the last few execs who has this loyalty. Obviously, he will be missed," said Smith.
A reception will be held at the Boys and Girls Club for Crowe on September 16 at 6 p.m. The public is invited to attend.
The Boys and Girls Club in Elizabethton/Carter County started in 1990, although there was a Boys Club of Carter County from 1947 until during the 1970s when the club had to close due to lack of financial support.
The Club's mission is to promote the physical, mental, emotional and moral well-being of the boys and girls by providing guidance, leadership, education, recreation and character development and be a safe haven so youth can become responsible citizens and leaders.
The Elizabethton club hours during the school year are Monday through Friday from 2:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. More than 100 kids attend the club after school every day. The cost is $30 per month to take advantage of the many activities, arts and crafts, sports, tutoring, game room and more.