Sterling College to dedicate Lonnie Kruse Court
Coach Lonnie Kruse will be honored in the Gleason Center at 6:30 p.m. with a dedication ceremony naming the court after the long-time and winning coach. Kruse has served as head women’s basketball coach for 32 years and is the all-time winningest women’s basketball coach in Kansas. He is second on the active list for wins in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.
“Coach Kruse has been a leader to not only the women’s basketball team, but the many other athletes that he has interacted with. His Christian faith influences every part of his life on and off of the court, and his family is continually opening up their lives to the athletes on the team. Coach Kruse excels at what he does but continues to be humble and appreciative of the awards he receives. It has been a privilege to work with him,” said Gary Kempf, athletic director.
Over the last 33 years, Kruse has served the college in many different capacities, coaching several different sports, teaching in the exercise science department, being the athletic director for 18 years and serving as part of the administration of the College.
Kruse put Sterling College on the map at the national level through his women's basketball program, taking his team to the NAIA women’s basketball national tournament 16 times over his 32 years as head coach, including 10 trips to the Sweet Sixteen, two trips to the Elite Eight and one Final Four appearance.
During his career, Kruse has completed 32 seasons of coaching with an overall record of 696-225. Thirty seasons ended with winning records, 20 of which had 21 or more wins overall. His teams have won 12 KCAC regular season titles. Kruse has won Coach of the Year awards 11 times from the KCAC, three times from the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association and elected twice by the NAIA District 10.
His players have been earned many recognitions and awards as well, including: one First Team All-American player, five Second Team All-American players, two Third Team All-American players, 10 Honorable Mention All-American players, 66 First Team All-KCAC players, two Second Team All-KCAC players, 53 All-KCAC Honorable Mention players, 10 KCAC Freshmen of the Year and 42 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Athletes.
Sterling College will host two alumni games on Saturday, Nov. 2. the dedication ceremony will take place between the two games. The women’s alumni game will begin at 5 p.m., followed by the court dedication at 6:30 p.m., and the men’s alumni game at 7:15 p.m.
Sterling College is a Christ-centered, four-year college located in Sterling, Kan., with a mission to develop creative and thoughtful leaders who understand a maturing Christian faith. For more information, visit www.sterling.edu.
CUTLINE: The basketball court in the Gleason Center on the campus of Sterling College will be dedicated in honor of head women’s basketball coach Lonnie Kruse on Saturday, Nov. 2 at 6:30 p.m.. Kruse is currently coaching the Lady Warriors for his 33rd season and is the all-time winningest coach in Kansas women’s basketball history.