From the very first days his father put a basketball in his hands, to watching his brothers play in the WIAA state tournament, and eventually winning a national title himself, basketball has been a huge part of Nick Krull’s life.
You could say it’s in his DNA.
After spending the last three years as an assistant coach at Deerfield High School, Krull was named head coach of the boys basketball program on Tuesday.
Krull takes over for the very man who mentored him the past three years, Dave Borgrud. In 15 seasons, Borgrud accumulated a record of 244-113, leading the Demons to five Trailways South Conference titles.
“Nick has done an outstanding job. He knows the program and kids. He is ready for this step up, I have confidence he will continue the success of Deerfield basketball,” said Borgrud. “His experience as a player, and knowledge of the game, should make it a smooth transition as he takes the reins as the head coach.”
Krull was on the bench for the 2017-18 season when the Demons qualified for the WIAA state tournament for the first time in program history. Deerfield lost to Chippewa Falls McDonnell Central 56-46 in the Division 5 semifinals.
Prior to coming to Deerfield, Krull was a volunteer assistant coach during Stevens Point’s run of three-straight WIAA Division 1 state championships from 2015-17 and was an assistant coach at his alma mater Marshall.
“I’ve been coaching basically since I’ve been out of college,” said Krull.
A former standout at nearby Marshall, Krull was named the Capitol South Conference Player of the Year in 2007 before taking his talents to UW-Stevens Point.
Krull played in 107 games during a stellar four-year college career. During his time with the Pointers they went 102-20, won the WIAC tournament title twice and in 2009-10 Krull helped lead UW-SP to the NCAA Division III national championship team.
Krull’s father Peter was Marshall’s athletic director while he was growing up, while his older brothers, Jon and Jeremy, were key players during the Cardinals’ run of three-straight WIAA Division 3 state tournament appearances and 2002 title team.
“Ever since my dad was the AD at Marshall we were up at school for hours upon hours practicing basketball; he was the first one to put the ball in my hands, and then obviously watching my brothers play, they were my role models,” said Krull.
Krull inherits a Deerfield team that went 15-10 and finished second in the Trailways South.
“Dave left it in great shape,” said Krull of Borgrud. “This past year we were pretty young starting a freshman (Cal Fisher), two sophomores (Colin Klade and Dayton Lasack) and a junior (Makhai Navarro), so this year looks bright. I obviously want to build off what (Borgrud) built, and with how young we are and with the upcoming grades I think we can take it to a whole other level; not just conference championships but regional championships and possibly sectional championships and more state appearances. That’s my goal and my vision.”
Krull not only credits Borgrud for paving his way to a head coaching position, but past coaches as well, like Stevens Point High’s Scott Anderson and his coaches at Marshall, Dan Denniston, and UW-Stevens Point, Bob Semling.
“Obviously when you’re done playing there’s no real gradual to it and this is a way I can still be with the game and have an impact. I’ve had the pleasure of being under a lot of great coaches, both in college and high school, that made an imprint on me,” said Krull. “They all influenced me and gave me motivation to get into coaching.”
“We are excited to be able to hire Nick Krull as our new varsity boys basketball coach,” said Deerfield Athletic Director Matt Polzin. “Nick started with our boys program as a volunteer coach during the 2017-18 season and the past two seasons has served as the JV coach. The fact that he had already been on the coaching staff should make for a smooth transition with the kids. But at the same time, I know Nick has ideas on how to put his own stamp on the program.”
The Nick Krull era begins on Nov. 24 as Deerfield hosts Fall River.