Oscar Stafford Cripps

June 17, 1942September 12, 2020

Oscar Stafford Cripps June 17, 1942 – September 12, 2020

Oscar Cripps was born on June 17, 1942 in Galveston, Texas. He passed away on September 12, 2020 at the age of 78. He is survived by his wife Janette Cripps of 55 years along with his sons Craig and Keith, daughter-in-laws Shelby and Tawna, grandchildren Cody, Chloe, and Cy, great grandson Davis, and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents Charles Lester Cripps and Bessie Cecile Cripps, and sister Trudy Fleetwood. Oscar grew up playing sports. He was on the Galveston Little League team that played in the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania as a left handed catcher. Oscar graduated from Galveston Ball in 1959 where he played football and baseball. He then went to Paris Junior College and then to Stephen F. Austin University (SFA). He played guard on offense and linebacker on defense at 5’9” and 160lbs. He met the woman who would become his wife, Janette, at SFA in a square dancing class. In 1967, Coach Cripps began his coaching career at Hemphill High School as the head coach. He then came to Spring Branch ISD as an assistant coach at Westchester High School from 1968-1973. Stratford High School opened in 1973 where he became the first campus athletic director and head coach there until 2000. He also coached at Houston Christian High School, Northbrook High School, and Elsik High School. More than 100 kids from Stratford went on to play college football, at least six of whom continued to play in the NFL. Two of those appeared in Super Bowls. The Stratford Spartans won the 1978 Class 4A State Championship with a perfect 15-0 record. During that season, the Spartans defeated the 1975, 1976, and 1977 Texas 4A champions. The Spartans played for the 1987 State Championship, 1988 state semifinals, and the 1980 quarterfinals. They won seven district championships. Coach Cripps was twice named the Greater Houston Coach of the Year by the Houston Post and Houston Chronicle. He was named the Texas Coach of the Year by the Texas Sportswriter’s Association. He coached the South Team in the Texas High School All-Star game in 1980 in which they won 7-6. Coach Cripps was inducted into the Stephen F. Austin University Hall of Honor, named the Spring Branch-Memorial Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year in 1978, selected as the Spring Branch ISD ‘Man of the Year’ by the Rotary Club in 1987, inducted into the Greater Houston Coaches Hall of Honor in 1998, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Ring of Honor in 2004, inducted into the AdvoCare Texas Bowl Hall of Honor in 2016, and the Texas High School Coaches Association Hall of Honor. Coach Cripps was a Deacon at Houston’s First Baptist. Coach Cripps left a lasting impression on everyone he knew. He was always about putting others before himself. It was never about him. Any success he ever had, he would tell you it was because of the players and assistant coaches. He put his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and there is no doubt where he is today. His purpose in life was for everyone to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to Houston's First Baptist Church Senior Adult Ministry at


  • Visitation

    Wednesday, September 16, 2020

  • Memorial Service

    Thursday, September 17, 2020


Oscar Stafford Cripps

have a memory or condolence to add?

Frank Blackwood

September 17, 2020

One day I saw a kid walking home school on Country Place and stopped to ask him why he was not on a team. He explained it was 9th grade and he was scared. I called Coach Cripps and told him and he was there in the old truck in 10 minutes, a record for that truck. Coach talked with the young man for a while and asked him if there were any others like him the young man said yes. Coach said tomorrow, bring em all and I will take you over to Stratford and introduce you to the Coach and if you do your best, you will be on the team. 7-8 showed up the next day and he took them over there.
From there we started a summer sports camp ministry at the fields at Spring Forest where over a 100 kids would show up each summer. Then we grew it to Spring Woods where his son Keith started the same there avg. over 100 kids a day. Coach would talk to them every day about being part of a team and teaching them about Jesus. Its just who he was.

Robert King

September 17, 2020

Coach was a one-in-million individual who ALWAYS put others first, and especially the kids. He was beloved by all the students, not just the football players. His unconditional love for others was an amazing gift and witness for Christ to each one of us, certainly while we were students and for many of us, into our adult lives.

I give thanks to Mrs. Cripps and to Craig and Keith for their extraordinary generosity in sharing this wonderful person with so very many of us. Coach was the gift, y’all were the givers. God bless.

Bear Brewer

September 16, 2020

Coach Cripps was a second father to me and thousands of boys that played for him. After every practice, he would sit us down and talk to all of us. There may have been a hundred boys listening to his every word, but we all felt like he was talking to us individually. He told us that we were the luckiest kids in the world to be born in Houston, with families that loved us, in a country where we could be anything we wanted to be. He told us our only obligation to God and ourselves was to work hard and do our best at everything life put in front of us. Most of all we learned by watching him. Coach Cripps was kind, generous, always deflected praise, loved his family, friends, his players, his job and Jesus. I am so blessed to have known him. He was truly one of a kind.

Lynn M. Austin

September 16, 2020

My prayers and thoughts go out to the entire Cripps family. Husband, Dad, Coach and wonderful individual will surely be missed although he has left a legend and many memories in the Spring Branch community. He certainly is in heaven at peace.

I know his kind and giving spirit for others continues on in his own children. I had the pleasure to work with Coach Keith Cripps at SWHS where he cared for his senior football players so much by visiting all 2011 seniors before school started. He made home visits to meet the parents and let students know the importance of character, academics and hard work.

Nick Voris

September 16, 2020

It was an honor to know and to associate with Coach Cripps. I always looked forward to seeing and meeting Coach Cripps at clinics, conventions, coaching meetings and coaching functions. Coach had a tremendous personality; and his outstanding knowledge of football was tough to match.

It seemed like everyone in Galveston, especially the "old" timers, knew about Coach Cripps. He was the kid and successful football coach from Galveston.

May he rest in eternal peace. Coach Voris ( Galveston )

John Ache

September 16, 2020

Too many memories, laughs and LESSONS to list.

He filled my whole family with love and tenderness, whether they played for him or not. We were the benefactors of gatherings with his family throughout the years. So much fun. We all benefited from the laughs and fellowship.

His mission and contributions were so much greater than those four corners on the field. He taught us all that there was nothing more valuable than the love we have for one another. You knew and felt the unconditional love he had for you at every encounter. He knew and imparted to US ALL that the GLORY belongs to our savior Jesus Christ.

As time passed, he went from being Coach, to Poppi. An evolution of deep love and respect I can only relay with words that fall short in describing the impact he had in my life.

I love you Poppi !!!

Marty Criswell

September 15, 2020

As a young coach just getting started, Oscar patiently showed me and so many others how to do it right. He was a true man of faith who loved kids and coaches.
Oscar leaves a legacy of lives changed for the better.

Ted Unbehagen

September 15, 2020

Oscar, O, Radar and a few other nick names given to a man who was a true leader to men young and old. His leadership stemmed from his competitive nature and a burning desire to win. I had the good fortune to observe his leadership as a teammate, a competitor and as a peer coaching on the same staff. We all lost a great friend.

David Jones

September 15, 2020

I was just a young coach when I first met Coach Cripps. From the moment I met him I was impressed with his philosophy of coaching and the way he handled kids. I remember one time I was down on the field during a scrimmage between Stratford HS and Dulles HS when a small altercation occurred between one of his players and a Dulles player. The two kids were down of the ground getting after it when Coach Cripps suddenly dove in between the two. He grabbed his player, got in his face, and informed that young man that we don’t act that way at Stratford. After he separated the two players, he walked over to me and said, “I’m too old to be doing that anymore”. It made an impression on me from the point on. We need more Coach Cripps in the world of coaching!

Westchester Alumni Association, Inc.

September 15, 2020

The Westchester Alumni Association expresses our deepest sympathy to the family of Coach Cripps. For so many students at Westchester, Coach left a memorable and lasting impression .


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