KNOXVILLE, Tenn, (WVLT)-- "Walters State is probably one of the best things to ever happen to Morristown," said Walters State women's basketball head coach
And David Kragel is one of the best things to ever happen to Walters State! After four decades on the bench, Kragel is retiring as head coach of the Lady Senators basketball program, As for why now he says, " I would like to spend a lot more time with my family, and my wife, she's made numerous meals. I don't know how many spaghetti meals she's cooked so she's done a lot of things to help our program."
Rick-Originally from Iowa, Kragel thought he'd be here for three years, well that turned into 43 at a place the coach considers as down home as it gets, " It's just a real good community and I grew up in Iowa and the people in East Tennessee are just like the people from Iowa. It's country folk, they're good people."
The legendary coach amassed over 1000 wins while winning numerous championships, but he says it's the relationships which will last with him for a lifetime, 'Oh yes, there's no doubt about that! That's the thing I'm gonna miss quite a bit. We've been very fortunate to have the girls that play for me buy in to what we're doing."
Kragel's remarkable ride runs parallel with that of another Tennessee coaching legend-- and He credits the great Pat Summitt with helping make his career a successful one. He added, " I started coaching when it was three on three and Pat was the one that got that changed where the people made the kids play five on five and that was awesome because it's really tough trying to recruit kids and for Tennessee it was a completely different change and Pat was a big factor in that."
While it's certainly not an easy time to take on any job, Jasmin Coleman, who played for and coached under Kragel, will assume the reigns of the Walters State program next season.
Congratulations to coach Kragel who isn't the only Walters State coach sporting some impressive tenure. Men's basketball coach Bill Carlyle will enter his 44th season at WSCC next season.