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Former Gonzaga assistant, EWU coach Jerry Krause gets ‘well-deserved’ induction to college basketball HOF

Jerry Krause, watching the NCAA Tournament in 2013, served as director of basketball operations for Gonzaga’s men’s basketball team until he retired in 2015.  (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

Ray Giacoletti could have gone through every bullet point on Jerry Krause’s resume, but he knows that can be a fairly long endeavor. So, rather than outlining the individual contributions Krause made to college basketball in the Inland Northwest – and the country, in many instances – Giacoletti captured his former colleague in a few profound sentences.

“I think the first thing that comes to mind when it comes to Jerry Krause, I’m not sure there has been a more giving man to the game,” Giacoletti said. “So many people over the years have taken from the game, and he gave back to the game. And basically that was his philosophy.

“In a business and society that is all about the mighty dollar, coach Krause has always been about the players and the game. The integrity of the game. You talk about someone who truly exemplifies what we all should’ve been doing over these years, it’s him.”

Krause, the former Eastern Washington coach and longtime Gonzaga aide who devoted more than five decades of his life to college basketball, was inducted into the National College Basketball Hall of Fame Wednesday morning.

Krause is one of nine members in the 2022 class, which also features coaching icons such as Roy Williams, Jim Calhoun, John Beilein and Lon Kruger, as well as former players Richard Hamilton of UConn, North Carolina’s Larry Miller, Furman’s Frank Selvy and Providence’s Jimmy Walker.

The class will be formally enshrined as part of National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame Weekend on Nov. 20 in Kansas City, Missouri.

“It’s well-deserved and doesn’t surprise me it’s eventually happened,” said longtime Gonzaga assistant Bill Grier, who’s now an assistant coach at Colorado. “Jerry’s done so much for the advancement of the game. What he’s done for the game with his teaching, educating coaches and his research to help develop the game and better the game is deserving of Hall of Fame honor.”

Krause, in his mid-80s, has worn a variety of coaching and noncoaching hats since stepping onto the college basketball scene in the 1960s. He’s most often recognized in the Northwest for his 17-year stint as EWU’s men’s basketball coach, along with the two decades he spent working in operations roles at Gonzaga, helping the Bulldogs transform from NCAA Tournament Cinderella into a to national power.

During his time at EWU, Krause ushered the NAIA Eagles into Division II basketball and oversaw their transition to Division I. He compiled a 292-165 record in Cheney, including 25-4 in 1976-77, and was inducted into EWU’s Hall of Fame in 2005.

An analytics guru, Krause was instrumental in Gonzaga’s adoption of advanced statistics and metrics when he joined the Zags as a director of basketball operations and prepared the team’s weekly analytics reports until he retired from his position in 2015.

“What’s funny is this older coach with the analytics piece – I was 45 (years old) thinking, analytics, ‘What the hell is this?’ ” Giacoletti said. “Now look where it’s gotten.”

Giacoletti, who recently retired from coaching, was still using Krause’s famous rebounding chart at his final college stops, Drake as a head coach and Saint Louis as an assistant.

“It wasn’t so much whether you rebounded, it was did you do your job offensively and defensively with the rebound piece?” Giacoletti said.

“It’s one of the staples of the Gonzaga program, and Gonzaga for the last 20 years has been one of the leaders in the country in rebounding and a lot has to do with his rebounding chart.”

Former Gonzaga guard Kyle Dranginis fondly recalled a Krause story on social media Wednesday while congratulating the longtime GU assistant on his HOF induction.

“Dr. Krause! Well deserved,” Dranginis wrote. “Still remember him having me take charges on the asphalt at camp in the summers.”

Krause had a hand in growing the program’s basketball camps, which were typically held outdoors amid scorching summer temperatures.

“We would have a segment three straight hours out on the old tennis courts and in July it can be mid-90s,” Grier said. “He would always volunteer to do the teaching part and he’d come back in, like he’d be wilted and heatstroke.

“But he just loved being able to go out and teach to the high school kids. Talk to them about the game.”

Krause’s impact on the game went well beyond his coaching duties. The 85-year-old served as a research chairman for the National Association of Basketball Coaches and was attending his 49th consecutive Final Four in 2017 when Gonzaga advanced to the program’s first national championship game, against North Carolina.

He was a long-standing member of the NCAA Rules Committee, served on the NABC Board of Directors and spent time on the selection committee for the National Basketball Hall of Fame.

Tucked away in the Inland Northwest, when Gonzaga hadn’t stamped its place among the sport’s blue bloods, Krause wasn’t as visible on a national scale, so Grier is hopeful his Hall of Fame induction will help shed a light on his career achievements.

“I think for us, because we were with him, we were well aware of all the great accomplishments he’d had,” Grier said.

“To get it out nationally, it’s so well-deserved because there’s so many people who don’t understand what he’s done to grow the game.

“I remember back when I was there and we’d talk about Jerry Krause and they’d look at us like they’d talk about the guy from the (Chicago) Bulls,” Grier added, referencing the former NBA executive and Bulls GM . “No, no, no, Dr. Jerry Krause.”

Krause, who has master’s and doctorate degrees from Northern Colorado, is also a prolific author who’s published more than 30 titles, including the renowned “Basketball Skills and Drills” book. He’s produced 31 instructional videos, six DVDs and two CDs while serving as a consultant for many athletic organizations.

In 2003, Krause was the recipient of a Guardians of the Game for Advocacy Award from the NABC for the research he conducted in developing a standardized rim testing program. In 2000, he was named to the NAIA Hall of Fame in 2000 and simultaneously inducted to the National Association For Sport and Physical Education Hall of Fame.

Krause enters another exclusive club, joining the likes of coaching pioneers and legends such as John Wooden, Mike Krzyzewski, Don Haskins, Dean Smith and former West Valley/Washington State coach Jud Heathcote.

“There’s nobody more deserving of the award than him, and there will be so many people across the country who have no idea who he is,” Giacoletti said. “People need to know what he’s done.”