NSU baseball welcomes new assistant coach
TNE Editor

NSU baseball welcomes new assistant coach

Published 9/20/17

Emily Osborne

TNE Writer             

RiverHawks baseball is adding a new member to their coaching staff this season. Parker Kruckenberg was named the assistant baseball coach in late August.

Kruckenberg earned his bachelor's degree in sports management from the University of Minnesota and has a master’s in applied kinesiology with a sports management emphasis.  This will be Kruckenberg’s seventh year of coaching baseball at the collegiate level. He has coached one at the Division III level, two at the Division I level and four at the Division II level. Kruckenberg is coming from Montana State-Billings where he coached the Yellowjackets from 2014-2017. Kruckenberg has back-to-back Great Northwest American Conference regular season titles in his first two years in Billings under his belt.

Coming to Tahlequah from Montana is quite the transition.

“We haven't had a ton of time to explore the area yet, with practice and recruiting during this time of year,” said Kruckenberg “My favorite part so far is getting to know the players in our program, the people in the athletics department and the people of the community of Tahlequah. Great people make any transition easier and the people here have been awesome, starting with Coach Hendrick. Everyone my wife and I have met so far has been awesome.”

With practices starting, the team is already looking to their fall scrimmages and their season. They are looking for ways to get better, and Coach Kruckenberg is bringing a fresh set of eyes and qualities to the table for the RiverHawks.

“Coach Kruckenberg has all the qualities you look for in hiring someone,” said Jake Hendrick, NSU baseball head coach. “He is a guy of great integrity, great work ethic, tremendous experience, and a high baseball IQ.”

Coach Kruckenberg has already made andimpact on his players. In the few short weeks that he has been here, he has shared that knowledge with his players. 

“Coach Kruck is a really knowledgeable baseball coach with a lot of experience,” said Ryan Neff Flower Mound, Texas junior. “I work with him everyday in the infield, and he works with each player individually and makes sure we all understand what he is trying to teach us. A big quality he brings to the team is his passion for the game and his passion for his players to continuously get better and bring all we have to the field everyday.”

Each year brings a new set of challenges and goals. With this preseason just getting started for the RiverHawks, they have had time to make some changes to the way practice is run and the goals they have for each day.

“Practice has changed this year but in many good ways,” said Neff. “This year we have shorter practices, but you can tell the team as a whole is always working hard and helping each other to get better. Coaches help each individual position to make sure we all get our own time to get better. Practice is more high tempo this year with a lot more enthusiasm, making each practice enjoyable and a great environment to get better as a team.”

Getting better as a team is the goal for this preseason. Challenging each other day in and out has been what their practices are all about. Kruckenberg has made it his goal to challenge the team everyday.

“My goal with this year’s team is to challenge our program and everyone affiliated with it, including myself, to get better every day,” said Kruckenberg. “Challenging each other to improve every chance we are given is important to us as a staff and as a program. If we do that on a daily basis I believe the results will take care of themself.”

From growing as players to improving as coaches, the RiverHawks are getting better everyday. Fall scrimmages will start later this semester.

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