UTAH COUNTY — A former college basketball coach convicted of threatening to blow up an elementary school has been arrested again, accused of violating probation.
Christopher Craig, the former head basketball coach at the College of Eastern Utah, a former assistant at Northern Colorado University and former head coach at Midland College in Texas, pleaded guilty to making a false alarm in 2017 as part of a plea deal in which other charges against him were dropped. He was dressed in a green tunic, ski mask and what appeared to be a turban, when police say he parked his car on the sidewalk near Eagle Valley Elementary in September 2016 and claimed he had a bomb. No explosives or weapons were found, but the threat resulted in a large response from multiple law enforcement agencies.
Craig was sentenced to one to 15 years, but that time was suspended in favor of five years’ probation. Prosecutors recommended his charge be reduced to a misdemeanor if he successfully completed probation.
A search warrant affidavit filed in 4th District Court shows Saratoga Springs police were alerted last month that Craig, whose mental competency was addressed in court several times during his previous legal issues, had stopped taking his medication and “was having a mental breakdown.”
“Craig’s wife contacted officers and told them she had been receiving emails from Craig. The emails were consistent with emails he had sent in the past when he was unstable and no longer taking his medication. These emails talked about Craig coming back soon and the wife’s dad and another person would have to fight Craig and he would provoke them to fight him,” the warrant stated.
Court documents showed Craig is also accused of threatening his family via texts, voicemails and a blog that included rants that referenced scriptures.
Utah County deputies were placed in all Eagle Mountain schools starting April 25, according to the same court documents.
Craig was arrested May 1, and the court documents say his attorneys have called for a new competency review, currently scheduled for July 10.
A Sports Illustrated article from 2014 describes Craig as having a promising basketball career that was sidelined by mental illness, specifically bipolar disorder. That year, police in Price say Craig was wearing a turban and a robe when he drove onto the playground of his daughter’s school. In that case, he was charged with disorderly conduct and driving with a suspended license.
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