Crippen currently is the director of Y-Serve, a BYU program that provides opportunities for students to serve in the community. His focus in life has been to serve students. His desire to teach came from the example of his father, who was a high school teacher. But it was on his mission in Washington when he decided he wanted to teach elementary-age children. The missionaries volunteered in schools to help with reading and other activities. Crippen noticed how the kids flocked to him and was told by the teacher that many of the boys didn’t have dads and loved having a male role model. This experience gave him direction.
Crippen graduated and taught elementary school for 15 years. He went on to serve as the assistant director and then director of a charter school. He earned his master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Azusa Pacific University in California and his educational administration license from Southern Utah University. Crippen is an avid athlete, having played on the BYU–Hawaii volleyball team, and he later was an assistant coach at the BYU volleyball camp. He and his wife, Sherelda, are the parents of eight children.