Crewe boss Steve Davis was in a relegation battle six months ago but on Sunday he celebrated promotion to League One.
The club were languishing in 18th place when former Alex, Stoke and Burnley defender Davis took over in November.
But a 19-match unbeaten end to the season culminated in a 2-0 play-off final victory over Cheltenham at Wembley.
"When I came the chairman told me to get us safe," Davis revealed. "If we were to drop out of this league the Academy could suffer, so it was important we stayed in the division initially.
"But with results came confidence, the team got better.
"The players started playing closer to their potential and 19 games unbeaten is a fantastic achievement for a young group."