By: Brett Nowack
Ashford University Director of Athletics Meg Schebler has tabbed Kelly Kruger as head coach for the AU women's basketball program. The announcement was made Tuesday morning.
Kruger boasts over 20 years of coaching experience within the NAIA and NCAA Division II ranks and has a proven track record of success at both levels. The newest member of the AU coaching staff possesses a career record of 420-337 and has six postseason tournament appearances to his credit.
"I'm very pleased to announce the addition of such a well-established and proven winner in Kelly Kruger to the athletic department," said Schebler. "Kelly has been around the game for a long time and has a solid track record of success as a head coach. I feel that the women's basketball program is going to continue to build on the successes we've seen over the last few seasons, and I couldn't be more excited for what the future holds for the program."
Kruger, a Little Rock, Iowa-native, comes to Ashford from Adams State University in Alamosa, Colo., where he produced a 96-101 record as head women's basketball coach from 2006-2013. The Grizzlies, an NCAA Division II program, appeared in a pair of NCAA Tournaments, including a "Sweet 16" berth during the 2010-11 season in which ASU recorded a second consecutive 20-win season.
The Adams State women's basketball program won just four games during the season prior to Kruger's arrival, a mark he improved upon for five consecutive seasons culminating in a 23-10 record during the 2010-11 season.
"I'd like to thank Meg Schebler, Andy Eberhart and the rest of the search committee for the opportunity to be a part of the Ashford University family," Kruger stated. "I'm excited about the opportunity to be a part of an enthusiastic and professional athletic department. I've been very impressed with the people I've met, as well as their professionalism in everything they do; I see this as a great opportunity to help take the women's basketball program to its next level."
Prior to his tenure at Adams State, Kruger was the head women's basketball coach at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, Minn. from 1991-2005. During his time at the helm of the Mustangs, Kruger notched a 234-164 record which included two NCAA Tournament berths and a pair of NAIA Regional Tournament appearances.
Additionally, Kruger won Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) Championships during the 2000-01 season and again during the 2001-02 season, a season that culminated in a NCAA Tournament "Sweet 16" appearance.
Kruger commenced his coaching career at Northwestern College, an NAIA institution in Orange City, Iowa, where he tallied a 90-72 record from 1981-1987. During that time the Red Raiders made three NAIA District 15 Tournament appearances and were twice Io-Kota Conference runners-up.
"We are extremely pleased to have Coach Kruger joining our department and taking the lead of our women's basketball program," said Associate Athletics Director Andy Eberhart. "Kelly brings a wealth of experience and success to the program, which personally makes me excited about the program's future."
Kruger also has extensive experience as a professor and most recently served as an assistant professor of human and physical education at Adams State. He also held similar faculty posts at Southwest Minnesota State and while at Northwestern.
Kruger is a 1981 graduate of Northwestern College with a degree in physical education and later earned a Master's degree in education from the University of South Dakota in 1986.
The Kruger File
Hometown: Little Rock, Iowa
Northwestern College, 1981, Bachelor of Arts in physical education
University of South Dakota, 1986, Master's of Education, physical education
1981-1987 Northwestern College, Head Women's Basketball Coach
1989-1991 Southwest Minnesota State University, Asst. Men's Basketball Coach
1991-2005 Southwest Minnesota State University, Head Women's Basketball Coach
2006-2013 Adams State University, Head Women's Basketball Coach
As a head coach …
- Career record of 420-337 (.555)
- Won two conference championships
- Six postseason tournament appearances
- Two NCAA Tournament "Sweet 16" appearances