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Walters State's Kragel named to Women's Basketball Hall of Fame
 January 30, 2014

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The NJCAA national office announced Friday that the NJCAA Women’s Basketball Coaches Association has selected Walters State (Tenn.) head coach David Kragel as the lone inductee in the 2014 class of the NJCAA Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

Kragel is currently in his 37th season as the Senators’ head coach. With a career record of 806-258 entering the 2013-14 campaign, Kragel currently stands as the third-winningest active NJCAA coach and ranks fifth all-time. Kragel’s teams have won 13 Tennessee Community College Athletic Association (TCCAA) championships and have claimed victory in 10 of the 17 Region 7 championship games they have played in. He has also led the Senators to 10 NJCAA DI Women’s Basketball National Championship appearances (1992, ’98, ’99, 2005, ’07, ’08, ’09, ’10, ’12, ‘13) and has qualified for the tournament in seven of the last nine years. Gaining the recognition and respect of his peers, Kragel has been named TCCAA Coach of the Year 17 times and Region 7 Coach of the Year nine times.

Despite Kragel’s vast success in the early 1990s – winning 47-straight home games from 1991-95 – his teams in recent years have taken the program to new heights. From 2007-12, the Senators set a new consecutive home-victory mark with 66-straight wins at WSCC Senators Basketball Gymnasium. After directing Walters State to a 29-1 record and a No. 6 seed at the national tournament last season, Kragel has this year’s squad sitting at 22-0 and ranked No. 2 in the nation with plans for another trip to Salina, Kan.

All of the success garnered by Kragel’s teams has translated to individual success for his student-athletes. Under his tutelage, 19 players have received All-America honors, including five first-team selections. Kragel has also seen 58 of his student-athletes named to All-Region teams. Outside the classroom, his players boast a graduation rate of over 90 percent and four have received NJCAA Academic Student-Athlete awards. During his career, Kragel has had 136 players go on to sign scholarships at four-year institutions.

Off the court, Kragel has played an important role in the TCCAA since 1995 as the Women’s Basketball Coaches Committee Chairman. Kragel’s efforts were recognized by the conference in 2004 when he was inducted into the TCCAA Hall of Fame.

Beginning his professional career in 1977, Kragel was hired by Walters State as a business professor, women’s basketball head coach and assistant coach for the men’s program. Kragel concluded his teaching career in 1985 when he became the college’s Coordinator of Activities for Student Services.

Prior to his arrival in Morristown, Tenn., Kragel served as a graduate assistant at Oklahoma State – where he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Before playing two seasons for the Cowboys, Kragel was an NJCAA first-team All-American at Southwestern (Iowa) in 1974.

A native of Corning, Iowa, Kragel was a four-sport athlete at Corning High School. His achievements included all-conference honors in baseball and all-state accolades in football and basketball. Kragel also participated in the high jump, high hurdles and relay for the track team.

Kragel and his wife Sharlene have two sons – Alex and Ryan – and three grandchildren in Ava, Anna and Carson.

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