Hall-of-Famer head coach Brad DeKrey announces his retirement from coaching cross country at Rock Springs High School after over lengthy career. Pictured is DeKrey with his wife Donna.

ROCK SPRINGS – Brad DeKrey, the longtime head coach of the cross country team at Rock Springs High School, is “closing the books.”

After a nearly 40-year career, DeKrey coached his final cross country meet when his squads competed at the Class 4A State Championships in Ethete on Saturday, Oct. 23.

“You never know how emotion can grip you,” DeKrey said. “I’m hoping I handle it the way I’ve handled everything else: with confidence.”

In North Dakota, DeKrey was an exceptional track athlete in high school. He decided years later to accept a job as the track coach in Farson for a junior high school in 1984. He also spent time as a pole vault and high jump coach.

A team is not just a team to DeKrey.

It is also family.

He looks at the success he’s had as “our success.” The athletes he has coached over the years belong to the community.

Some of the accomplishments DeKrey and his team have achieved over the years, include one Nike Cross National Team Invitation in 2005; two Nike Cross National Individual Invitations in 2009 and 2013; seven Wyoming state championships in 1991, 1995-1997, 2004-2005 and 2011; a dozen Wyoming state-runners up in 1998-2003, 2007-2008, and 2012-2015; and 18 Wyoming Southwest Regional Championships in 1995-2008 and 2011-2015.

The accomplished head coach’s ascension up the track ladder came to a peak when he was named National Boys’ Cross-Country Coach of the Year in 2019. He was a finalist for the award three times before in 2001, 2004 and 2012.

“I was a little embarrassed,” DeKrey said as he laughed. “It made me feel good”.

The Wyoming Coaches Association inducted DeKrey into its Hall of Fame recently. He is a seven-time recipient of the Wyoming Coaches Association Coach of the Year award (1996-1999, 2005-2006 and 2012).

From 2009 to 2014, he was the executive secretary and treasurer for the Wyoming Coaches Association. From 2000 to 2004, he was the Wyoming Coaches Association secretary to the president. Before that, from 1994 to 2000, DeKrey served on the Wyoming Coaches Association Board of Directors.

“One of which is service to your fellow coaches, which I’m very proud of because I love to assist the coaches association,” he said. “It also takes account for longevity and success. I’m probably most proud of being able to advance the agenda of the coaches association. Serving the community and having them buy into the way we coach is also very rewarding.

“At the end of the day, that is what it’s all about, including the success of the kids.”

Over the years, many athletes have seen ample success under the former national coach of the year.

“Oh gosh,” DeKrey said, pondering all of the kids he has coached throughout his career. “Well, looking back, the kids in this school have totaled about 90-plus all-state athletes in cross country.”

He made note that none of the success could’ve been done without the help of his loving wife Donna.

“She is a big part of our success,” he said.

After over 40 memorable years in the Sweetwater County community, the DeKreys will be moving to Laramie to be closer to their daughter and grandson.

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