After spending 12 years on the sideline at the division two and high school basketball ranks, including nine seasons as women’s head coach at Colorado Mines, Paula Krueger returned to her alma mater, Northern State. On the heels of another three seasons as an assistant, Krueger is now head coach.
Northern State women’s basketball coach Curt Fredrickson announced his retirement after 39 years last April, handing the reigns to former Wolves’ standout Paula Krueger.
“You can’t throw everything away from someone that’s won 846 games, you would be crazy to do that and so I’ve tried to take the things that are comfortable for me,” Krueger said.
Krueger’s spent the past three seasons as an assistant coach with the Wolves, and while the players are familiar with her personality, they’re noticing some differences between Krueger and her mentor.
“Our practices have changed tremendously as far as the intensity and the energy go and that comes back to coach Krueger and our two assistants as well,” Kusler said.
“I come from maybe a different generation of that coaching piece and so you know fist bumps and chest bumps and all those kinds of things are more part of my personality and so I’m able to maybe bring that,” Krueger said.
Krueger also brings a wealth of experience from an athlete’s perspective as a two-time NAIA national champion at NSU.
“Now, when you’re on the this side you can look at it from when I was a player and the things that I carried with me when I played I can carry on with me as a coach,” Krueger said.
“She was two-time national champion and an MVP and just being around that and having, wanting to write our story in the record books of Northern State, I think is our main mindset,” Kusler said.
The Wolves also hope to build on an already rich tradition by embradcing those who’ve come before them.
“Being able to bring them back to the fold, you know, letting them know that this was built on all the things that they did and we need to use their steps, their stones to help add our own,” Krueger said.
The Wolves split two games at the Central Region Challenge in Krueger’s first weekend at the helm, and host Presentation on Thursday night.