NMCC fills coaching vacancy with proven winner
NEW MADRID -- New Madrid County Central's search for a new boys basketball coach has come to an end.
The school announced on Tuesday that Twin Rivers coach Scott Kruse has been selected for the job.
"He's a young, upcoming coach," said Lennies McFerren, who recommended Kruse to NMCC's school board. "He has proven himself the last few years there at Twin Rivers. We feel very lucky to have someone with his credentials coming into our system. I think he's one of the top coaches in our area."
Kruse will be NMCC's fourth head coach in four years, taking over for David Fields, who resigned last month.
"It's a job anyone in my shoes would be excited to have," said Kruse. "You are immediately attracted to the tradition and the fact that Coach McFerren is right there. That's the biggest thing that got me interested -- knowing what New Madrid County Central basketball means to this area."
The Eagles won back-to-back state championships in 2000 and 2001. They took second in the state in 2002.
But after losing their top seven players to graduation, NMCC struggled this season, finishing the year with a record of 9-16. Their season came to an end in the district semifinals, with a 78-47 loss to Kruse's Royals.
They lost only one senior to graduation this year.
"I know there is some potential there," said Kruse. "But at this point, I really don't know a time frame. If you do things the right way, you're going to build it and eventually you will win. That's all I can say right now. We have a chance to get it going back in the right direction."
The 32-year-old Kruse was an all-stater at Dexter High School, graduating in 1989. He played college basketball at William Jewell for two years, then transferred to the University of Missouri where he got a degree in hotel and restaurant management.
Kruse later went back to the University of Missouri at Kansas City and got a degree in physical education.
His first coaching job came in 1996 as head coach of the Bell City Cubs. He stayed two years there, posting records of 9-15 and 13-13.
Kruse has spent the last five years as head coach at Twin Rivers, compiling a record of 97-35. In 2002, he guided the Royals to the school's first district championship since 1995. He is ranked No. 2 on the school's career win list.
"I hope the community rallies behind this young man and gives him all the support he needs," said McFerren. "I feel being the head coach at New Madrid County Central is one of the higher profile positions in the state. There is some talent here. The tank is far from empty."
Kruse will keep Jason Andrews on as an assistant coach.