Panthers hire Krasko to coach hoop team
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury College has hired top Bowdoin women’s basketball assistant Kelly “KJ” Krasco as the Panthers’ eighth women’s basketball head coach in a program that dates back to 1977.
Krasco, a former Clarkson University head coach, St. Lawrence assistant and Colby-Sawyer all-star, has served as Bowdoin’s top assistant for the past three seasons, during which the Polar Bears have won 20 games twice and appeared in the NCAA Division III tournament twice.
College officials said they were pleased to welcome Krasco.
“I am incredibly excited about KJ Krasco joining the leadership of our athletic program,” said Dean of the College Shirley Collado. “Her experience with recruitment and developing a strong team culture will build on the strengths of the women’s basketball team. KJ’s energy and vision for quality coaching are clear. Our students will be fortunate to have her at Middlebury.”
Director of Athletics Erin Quinn echoed those comments.
“I am thrilled to have KJ joining our staff as the head women’s basketball coach,” said Quinn. “Her vision for creating a positive team culture, her commitment to academic and athletic excellence, along with her community involvement make her a perfect fit for Middlebury College.”
Likewise, Krasco, a native of Medford, Mass., said she was happy to take over the Panthers’ reins.
“I am delighted and humbled at the opportunity to be the next women’s basketball coach at Middlebury College,” she said in a press release. “The school has a great tradition of excellence in academics and athletics, and I’m looking forward to the challenge of moving the women’s basketball program to the next level.”
During her three seasons at Bowdoin, she served as the top recruiter for the program. She was on the Bowdoin staff during the 2011-2012 season, when it was named Maine State Women’s Basketball Coaching Staff of the Year. Among her duties were recruiting, practice planning, scouting reports, and video breakdown.
Krasco’s coaching career began at St. Lawrence in 2005, where she spent two seasons with the Saints. She was part of the 2007 Liberty League Coaching Staff of the Year, when the team enjoyed a record-setting 20-win season.
Krasco’s next stop came in 2007, when she took over the reins of the Clarkson program as head coach. In her three seasons, she raised the level of play on the court, although her teams compiled only a 15-60 mark. She also directed the school’s summer basketball camp and served as the compliance coordinator for the Golden Knights.
Prior to her three seasons with the Polar Bears, Krasco enjoyed a one-year stint as an assistant coach at Division II Merrimack in 2010-2011.
As a player at Colby-Sawyer, Krasco was a first-team All-Commonwealth Coast Conference player and a 1,000-point scorer for the Chargers from 2002 to 2005. She was named the New Hampshire Division III Player of the Year in 2004-2005, when Colby-Sawyer won the Commonwealth Coast Conference title and reached the NCAA tournament.
Krasco is a member of the Medford High School Hall of Fame.
“Her experience as an outstanding player, former head coach, and as a NESCAC assistant coach have prepared her well to hit the ground running recruiting and developing outstanding Middlebury basketball players, students and community members,” Quinn said.
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