ARCHBOLD - When Archbold was faced with hiring a new varsity coach for its tradition-rich boys basketball program 21 years ago, Doug Krauss was in the right place at the right time.
Krauss guesses there were many applicants, most with better resumes than his.
"It was a good job and I kind of fell into it," Krauss said. "The basketball job was open but there were no staff [teacher] openings, so they had to hire from within."
Krauss, Archbold's freshman basketball coach for five years, got the job. He proved himself immediately and, 21 years later, is still doing so.
For leading the Blue Streaks to a 19-1 regular-season finish, a No. 7 final state ranking, a share of a third straight Northwest Ohio Athletic League championship and a berth in tonight's regional semifinals, Krauss is the 2005 Blade boys coach of the year.
Krauss, 50, is a 1972 graduate of Patrick Henry, where he played football, basketball and baseball. He earned his bachelors degree from Findlay College (1976), where he played baseball for four years and basketball for one.
He posted a 20-3 record in his first season (1984-85), and that Blue Streak team was ranked as high as No. 3 in Ohio.
"I don't know how much I had to do with it," Krauss said. "If the previous coach [Steve Rettig] had still been there, they still would have been good."
Krauss insists much of the success is because a trio of assistants - Joe Frank, Mike Kennedy and Dave Walker - have been with him a long time.
After last Saturday's 63-58 upset of St. Henry in the district final, Krauss' career mark stands at 318-146 (.685).
The victory over St. Henry came two nights after Krauss missed the first game of his career, a thrilling 50-49 overtime win against eighth-ranked Delphos St. John, which he listened to on the radio at home.
He had spent the prior evening and much of that day undergoing tests after experiencing symptoms of heart problems. Happily, he received a clean bill of health and rejoined the team.
Krauss' Streaks have won 10 NWOAL titles, and had four 20-win seasons. His 1996 squad won a D-III state poll championship before ending at 26-1 with a loss in the state final. In 2003, his 22-4 team reached the state semis.
Krauss grew up in sports alongside twin brother Dave, the head basketball coach at Patrick Henry for the last 21 years. Both believe that hard work, fundamentals and team play are essentials for a winning program, and Doug has found that Archbold people share that philosophy.
"I would say that we're a good fit," Krauss said. "I believe in hard work and the community believes in it."
The quest for victories and titles has not skewed his perspective.
"In the big picture, high school sports are just that - sports," Krauss said. "We're here for the betterment of the kids and, if you keep that in mind, things will work out just fine. If you have a personal agenda, it won't work.
"Also, your success usually goes hand in hand with your seniors. We have five seniors and all five have done an outstanding job. That's where it starts. They have done everything we asked of them and they do whatever it takes to win.''