Krause Inducted Into Inland Northwest Sports Hall Of Fame
SPOKANE, Wash. – Jerry Krause, who has spent 37 years in various roles in basketball coaching in eastern Washington, including 20 years at Gonzaga University, was inducted into the Inland Northwest Sports Hall of Fame Tuesday in ceremonies at the Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena.
Krause first came to the area in the summer of 1967 when he began a 17-year career as head basketball coach at what was then the Eastern Washington State College Savages and later became the Eastern Washington University Eagles. During that time his teams went 262-196 for a .572 winning percentage. He took a 1-year sabbatical from EWU in 1982-83 to assist the late Ralph Miller at Oregon State University, then returned to the Eagles to lead them from the NAIA ranks into NCAA Division I. He was inducted into EWU Athletic Hall of Fame Oct. 1, 2005.
Krause’s first stint with Gonzaga was from 1986-92 when he served as a part-time assistant coach. He returned in the summer of 2001 from a 5-year civilian term at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point where he was a professor of sport philosophy and director of instruction for the department of physical education. He moved into the area of basketball operations for Gonzaga head coach Mark Few, a position he still retains today.
He is the most prolific author of basketball books in history with 34 and has also produced 33 instructional videos. For 35 years he has been research chairman for the National Association of Basketball Coaches and was a long-standing member of the NCAA Basketball Rules Committee. He was involved in rules changes that brought about the 45-second – and later 35-second – shot clock, the 3-point shot and the breakaway rim.
Krause talked about what he has learned in his long career as a coach and a teacher.
“The first lesson is I learned to learn. My Nebraska roots were a tough start; losing your mother at childbirth and your dad committing suicide at four. As I looked back on it I thought it was a great opportunity for me. Life is filled with adversity and adversity is a great opportunity to grow and learn and become what we can. We’re in a country where we can accomplish what we want with the choices we make.”
The importance of family is something Krause learned, even though he lost his parents at such a young age.
“I learned the importance of family. My sports teams have become a series of important families to me. I want to introduce the love of my life Cathy Kelly. She taught me there was something besides the professional life; our personal life is just as important. She’s joined with the other Kelly clan. There’s my Fish Lake (where he lives) family Harold and Mary Kay Meili, whose daughter Launi is also in this Hall of Fame,” Krause said.
Krause said everyone has mentors, and he was no different.
“All of us in Halls of Fame learn from our mentors. That started with my big city village of 504 people back in Nebraska and I had a lot of caring mentors there. I had a disappointing experience at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln where I got into the infamous contest to see how many classes we could miss. That was pretty intelligent,” he laughed of the incident which got him and his buddies expelled. “I ended up at a small school at Wayne State that really was a family. It was represented by one person that met me at the door. Milton Hassel was the Dean of Students at that time and, like the idiot I was at that time, I showed up two weeks late for the semester. He welcomed me with open arms, but did sit me down and give me a little tough love to begin with. He enrolled me in all of my classes and took me around and introduced me to each one of my instructors as a person who had great potential. That type of mentoring and tough love is very important to all of us.”
One of Krause’s mentors was John Wooden, and he recalled the path that led to him meeting Wooden for the first time.
“Colorado State, now the University of Northern Colorado, led to the UCLA experience. George Sage was that master teacher who taught me by his example on the court, but more importantly off the court. He was an inspiration to me and he led me to John Wooden, and John Wooden becoming one of my mentors also inspiring me to become a master teacher,” Krause said.
But EWU and Gonzaga have also helped his development.
“My other experience in this area was at Eastern Washington University, this was then Eastern Washington State College and we were the Savages. I still have one of the bricks we had every place in the whole physical education program with ‘Savages’ imprinted on almost every brick. That school, to me, became a great regional university which had great coaches and teachers who really cared about people. I learned from them and learned from my colleagues and players; some of those players, too numerous to mention, are here today,” Krause said.
One of the people to make a great impact on him was a former player who ended up being one of the great all-time coaches in the Greater Spokane League and the state of Washington.
“One of the people who taught me a great lesson was Wayne Gilman who died prematurely from cancer. He was a Hall of Fame coach at Ferris High School. I really underestimated. When I met him in my first year at Eastern he didn’t look like a basketball player who could help me, being the great coach that I am,” Krause deadpanned. “Don’t judge a book by its cover. That guy was the grittiest, strongest, courageous leader and was my co-captain for two years, and he taught me how to be a better coach.”
Another who impacted Krause’s life is another Inland Northwest Sports Hall of Famer, Jud Heathcote.
“He was a person who became a longstanding friend of mine who was introduced to me at the NABC. He taught me how to serve, how to give back to the game. Jud taught me the importance of loyalty,” Krause praised as he talked about the coaching tree that included Marv Harshman and Jim Brandenburg.
From EWU Krause came to Gonzaga.
“I went to Gonzaga. I learned a great deal from the coaches and players. Dan Fitzgerald, when I was dismissed from EWU, called me the next day and offered me a job; kept me in the profession. I’ll never forget that,” Krause said.
Krause said he has hundreds of players to remember, but two that stand out the most come from his years at Gonzaga.
“We had a magical year last year at Gonzaga. I’ve had literally hundreds of players to remember, but one of the best ever was Mike Hart. He had the perfect name because he became the Sports Illustrated “Glue Guy of the Year,” one of the most important team guys of the year in college basketball last year. It’s one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had in coaching.
“We’ve had many great players. Another favorite of mine was J.P. Batista who taught me a great deal about humility. We had the Three Amigos in Dan Monson, Mark Few and Bill Grier who started it all at Gonzaga. They taught me to raise the expectations. If you don’t think it you certainly can’t become it. We have great administrators like (athletic director) Mike Roth who taught me about the value of integrity and (associate AD and former head baseball coach) Steve Hertz who taught me what it means to be a Zag,” Krause said.
Krause was inducted into the Hall of Fame with Indian Canyon golf professional Gary Lindeblad, former Spokane Chiefs and NHL hockey standout Pat Falloon, former Lewis and Clark High track athlete the late Carl Johnson and current Spokane Chiefs hockey and Spokane Indians baseball owner Bobby Brett.
Mel Olson, the longtime radio voice of Moses Lake High athletics, and former Spokane Valley Herald sports editor and former Spokesman-Review prep writer Mike Vlahovich were added to the Scroll of Honor.
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