Butte’s Crowe named head coach of Canadian speed skating team

Mike Crowe’s long legacy as a speed skating coach has gotten a little longer.

The long-time Butte resident has been promoted to head coach of the Canadian long track speed skating team. Speedskating.ca reported the story on Monday.

“It is quite an honor to be selected for the responsibility of leading this world class team of coaches, skaters and staff.” Crowe told Speedskating.ca. “They all are willing to put in the work and commitment to compete as one of the top three teams in the world.”

Crowe, 61, is a St. Louis native who moved to Butte to coach for the Montana Amateur Speed Skating Association more than 30 years ago. He still has a residence in Butte along with his wife Mary (Whelan). Mike and Mary have two grown sons, Mike and Matt. Matt had a stellar career as an offensive lineman at Butte Central and Montana Tech.

The elder Crowe is a veteran coach of five Olympic Games. He has been with the Canadian coaching staff since 2007.

Crowe coached the United States team from 1983 through 1991 and again from 1999 through 2002. According to the Canadian site, his athletes have won a total of 79 medals at World Championships and 92 medals at World Cups.

Crowe, who was named USA Coach of the Year in 1998 and 2002, coached Bonnie Blair when she became an Olympic champion. He coached Dan Jansen, though not when Jansen won Olympic gold in the 1,000 in 1994.

He also coached Butte Olympian Dave Silk, who competed in the 1988 Olympic Games and was an alternate in the 1984 Games.

In 2010, Crowe was named the Canadian Coach of the Year.