Radford, Va. – Michael Crist returned to the NRV Monday, where his football roots took hold as a young boy. Crist was officially introduced as the Radford Bobcats new head football coach. Crist grew up in nearby Blacksburg, where his father was the head coach of the Bruins for four decades. During that time, he was friends with Norman Lineburg, the legendary Radford head coach for 37 years. It was the Lineburg family who Crist turned to, to discuss the job.
“My dad very rarely gets involved but he kind of gave me a little nudge and said hey I think you should look into this I think this will be a great opportunity. And then once I knew it was official I reached out to Coach and Mrs. Lineberg and we just talked about the pride in the program, the great respect that he(Norman) had for my dad and it was mutual with my dad’s respect for him. So as much as anything it was the pride in the program and I talk to him about some of the traditions and I think that’s important,” Crist explained.
The legendary Norman Lineburg held the job for 37 years, winning a pair of state titles and has the field named after him in Radford. Lineburg and Crist’s father were long time competitive counterparts and friends.
The elder Crist coached the Bruins for 40 years, winning a pair of state titles. Michael Crist was an assistant at Blacksburg under his father, as well as Brookville, Warren Co. and Amherst Co. before taking the Virginia High job. Crist’s record was 33-49 in eight years at Virginia High, which is a stop without much recent football success to speak of before his arrival. He managed 5 playoff appearances and one trip to the second round.