INDIANAPOLIS – The Crossroads League Council of Presidents announced on Wednesday that Larry DeSimpelare has been hired as the new Crossroads League Commissioner and will begin his tenure with the league immediately.
DeSimpelare will be the third commissioner in the history of the Crossroads League, taking over the position from Tom Seitz, who resigned his post effective May 31, after serving in the role for two years.
“Larry DeSimpelare has a passion for athletics in a Christian context,” stated Mount Vernon Nazarene University President, Dr. Henry Spaulding, who served on the search committee and currently serves as the Chair of the Council of Presidents for the Crossroads League. “I believe that Larry will help the Crossroads League continue to become the premiere NAIA league in the country.”
Huntington University Athletic Director and member of the search committee, Lori Culler, echoed those sentiments. “We are excited to welcome Larry as our league commissioner. Larry impressed the selection committee with his ability to build positive relationships, his strong faith commitment and his talent to help the Crossroads League market its brand as an NAIA powerhouse conference.”
DeSimpelare will begin his time with the Crossroads League after having spent 28 years working with student-athletes at various levels as a collegiate men’s basketball coach. Most recently, DeSimpelare served on staff for 11 years at NCAA Division I Cleveland State, working as the Associate Head Coach in each of his last four years with the Vikings.
“I am thrilled to be a part of the Crossroads League,” stated DeSimpelare. “I look forward to working with our Council of Presidents, Athletic Directors and our coaches to further advance this league and the incredible student-athletes that represent our core values. My excitement and enthusiasm for Christ-centered education and the important role that athletics play in the college experience is why I am passionate to be a part of the Crossroads League.”
DeSimpelare is no stranger to the Crossroads League, despite having spent much of the past two decades on the bench at Cleveland State, Rutgers, Kent State and Eastern Michigan. The Avon, Ohio native graduated with a degree in mathematics from Spring Arbor University and has a daughter currently playing volleyball at Taylor University.
DeSimpelare was a three-year letterman on the planks for SAU, earning academic all-district recognition for his work in the classroom and serving as a team captain for the Cougars. Following the conclusion of his playing career, DeSimpelare worked as an assistant coach for Spring Arbor for one season.
DeSimpelare began his head coaching career at Concordia, before moving on after four seasons to become a graduate assistant at Eastern Michigan, where he completed a master’s degree in exercise science pedagogy. From there, DeSimpelare accepted assistant positions at Kent State and Rutgers, before transitioning to Cleveland State.
Along the way, DeSimpelare guided those programs to three league titles, eight NIT berths and four NCAA bids, where he helped Eastern Michigan take out Duke and Cleveland State upend Wake Forest in a pair of opening round upsets.
In addition to his vast on-court coaching experience, DeSimpelare’s teams have excelled in the classroom. During his time at CSU, every senior that came through the program graduated, and the Vikings ranked among the top-10 percent in the nation academically in three of his final five years with the team.
DeSimpelare and his wife, Susan, have two children, Abby and Tyler.