Nichols named West Platte AD

The end of the school year was a busy time for coaching changes at West Platte.

After replacing a girls basketball coach and wrestling in the spring, the administration ended up having to fill two openings with the track program, baseball and athletic director.

The latter job went to Ryan Nichols, who is the boys basketball coach.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity,” said Nichols, who joined the school district last year after two years at St. Joseph Lafayette. “We have a really motivated coaching staff and we have a lot great people to work with. I think it is an exciting time for the athletic program and we have a lot of facility upgrades we are going through. It is a really exciting time.

“I just feel like a sense of community (here) and I appreciate that as a coach and a teacher.”

Nichols previously had been the athletic director at DeKalb and replaces Brad Basel, who had the role for the past 17 years. Nichols jokingly said he told Basel there would be a three-question a day minimum while he gets used to the job.

Nichols will give up his duties as an assistant track coach, where he helped the jumpers. His previous job will be handled by Kaitlyn Krumm, who moves up from the middle school track and field team.

Greg Reynolds was named the boys baseball coach. A longtime assistant baseball coach and head softball coach at St. Joseph Benton, he joined the West Platte district last year and served as an assistant coach for basketball and softball. 

He replaces Tanner Lawson, who resigned to become a principal in DeKalb. 

“He is definitely worthy of a head-coaching position,” Nichols said of Reynolds, who was an assistant when Benton won a baseball state title in 2007. “It is something he wanted for a long time and he takes over a program on an upswing. I think he will be a good guy to take the reigns on.”

The last hire is essentially a shift of responsibility.

Current football coach Paul Thomas will still have two head coaching gigs this year, but switches from wrestling to boys track and field. He replaces Steve Feiden, who resigned to take a job in Texas but not before helping the girls repeat as state champions. 

That change is months in the offing, up first will be the football jamboree on Friday, Aug. 23 in Gallatin for Thomas and his Bluejays.

Thomas’ previous job, as wrestling coach, was filled by Alex Schmersahl. A decorated wrestlers during his prep career — a state champion at Centralia — he previously served as a wrestling coach in Butler, Mo. 

The Bluejays will also have a new coach for girls basketball in Tom Kruse. He previously served as principal and girls basketball coa