Always a coach
Fifteen years ago, Jen Krill spent her days teaching opponents lessons on the basketball court at Nevada Union ” now she’s teaching her own players how to do the same exact thing at Del Campo High School.
As Krill looks back to her high school basketball career, she remembers that time as one of her favorite experiences with some of her best memories. While she can’t go back to those days, she is now able to help teenage girls create those same powerful and exciting memories of their own.
When asked when she started coaching, Krill pauses and says, “I don’t think I have never not been coaching. I have been coaching since I was 16 and working camps for Coach Strohm.”
So it came as no surprise to anyone, especially Craig Strohm (former Nevada Union basketball coach), that Krill ended up coaching a high school basketball team of her own.
“When she played, it was like having a coach on the floor,” Strohm said. “It’s no surprise that she’s such a fine coach in her own right. She always understood what we were trying to do and could see the whole picture.”
Krill graduated from Nevada Union in 1990, where she played three years of varsity basketball. While she remembers the beginning days of playing for coach Strohm as a little intense, the two quickly grew to understand one another.
“I just remember Strohm and I having it out everyday for awhile my sophomore year,” Krill said. “I was getting kicked out of practice quite a bit.”
Once things settled down, Strohm remembers the teams of 1988-1989 and 1989-90 as being pretty close to, if not the best combination of players he ever coached.
In 1988, Krill’s sophomore year, the Miners made it to a section championship and almost upset undefeated Atwater. In 1989 and 1990, the Miners won the section championship.
Krill then went on to play four years at Sonoma State where she majored in business administration ” which she points out had nothing to do with coaching.
Currently, Krill owns a branch of a mortgage company and has no plans to retire from the profession to coach full time. She has also been asked to coach boys teams, but likes the program she is developing at Del Campo.
Asked how her players would describe her, Krill said, “They would say they can’t stand me for the two hours during practice, but they would want to hang out with me after practice.”
A demeanor she may have adopted from Strohm, who describes himself as the “Lombardi of the hardwood.”
“I am way big on discipline and playing hard,” Krill said. “We play hard and tough on defense and shut down the other team.”
While Strohm was still coaching at Nevada Union a few years ago, he and Krill had a big game coming up. Strohm was nervous about the game so he tried to tell Krill that a big snow storm was coming and maybe she shouldn’t bring her team up. Krill wasn’t fooled by the ploy and came anyway.
The final year Strohm coached, he was chosen as coach for the North squad in the annual Optimist game. As head coach he was allowed to choose his assistant coach ” and who else would he pick other then Krill?
“She was one of the original cornerstones of the Nevada Union girls basketball program,” Strohm said. “She set a precedent for success and helped to lay the foundation for success for a long time after she has left.”
And now, a decade and a half later, Krill is laying the foundation for her own program and loves every minute.
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