Colorado churches warned about ex-Division I assistant now claiming to be a ‘jihadist’

When ex-Northern Colorado assistant Chris Craig stepped down from his post as head basketball coach at Midland College in March, the circumstances were very unusual.

The same day he sent his resignation email to athletic director Forrest Allen, he reportedly also wrote end-of-the-world prophecies and other conspiracy theories on his Twitter account and in a 31-page handwritten letter posted on his personal blog.

Those bizarre comments apparently were a precursor to a string of increasingly troubling incidents that have followed this summer.

First Craig was arrested in early July after allegedly making threatening and derogatory comments about Mormons and Catholics to professors at an Arizona College, the Carbon County Sun Advocate reported. A couple weeks later, police in Steamboat Springs, Colo. reportedly responded to 911 calls about a man believed to be Craig with a shirt wrapped around his head and a bandana wrapped around his face videotaping himself.

The incident escalated when Craig reportedly told police in Steamboat Springs he was "an Islamic jihadist" and that "in a couple of weeks everyone will know who I am." As a result, the Associated Press is reporting authorities in Colorado have warned churches in the state to be on the lookout for Craig.

The disturbing behavior from Craig is especially surprising because he doesn't appear to have history of making violent threats.

Craig played basketball at Arizona Western College before transferring to UTEP to play under then head coach Billy Gillespie in 2002. He served as the head coach at Utah State University Eastern from 2007-10 before spending a year as an assistant at Northern Colorado and two years as head coach at Midland.

Officials at Midland College were shocked by what they've read about Craig since his resignation

"No one ever heard talks like this," Rebecca Bell, dean of community relations and special events, told the Midland Reporter-Telegram. "Midland College hopes that wherever he is, he gets some help."

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