Paul Krick is a self-admitted basketball junkie.
He has traveled the country to attend coaching camps and observe Division I men’s basketball practices. Krick has watched teams at Duke, North Carolina and UNLV in the months leading up to their national championship seasons.
He also has attended camps run by legendary coaches such as Morgan Wootten at DeMatha High School in Hyattsville, Md., and Dean Smith at North Carolina.
Krick was named Lyons’ new girls basketball coach last month, replacing former Lions’ star Katie Meyers, who resigned.
“Basketball is a labor of love for me — the passion that I have,” Krick said. “The next best thing to playing is coaching.”
The first-time varsity coach has come a long way from a farm in Mount Morris, a community of just under 3,000 located southwest of Rockford in Ogle County. He grew up with five sports-loving sisters on a farm complete with a dairy cows.
Krick, whose father cleared out a basketball court in the family barn, holds a deep passion for the sport.
“I’m really excited,” Krick said. “I know Lyons Township has a great basketball tradition. I’m excited to make an impact.”
He’s been on the job ever since Lyons began playing in the Trinity summer league earlier this month. The Lions will participate in the Neuqua Valley Shootout Friday and Saturday and the York Shootout June 21-22.
Krick has coached at nearly every level of boys and girls basketball, as well as being involved in boys cross country and tennis at Lyons.
Following the advice of veteran Lyons sophomore boys basketball coach Brian Kopecky, Krick took five years off from coaching high school athletes to coach his own kids. Two of them currently attend Downers Grove North and another is in eighth grade.
“Coach Kopecky told me, ‘One of my regrets is that I never took a season off and followed around my own kids,’ ” said Krick.
Krick’s high school coaching experience extends beyond Lyons and he served as an assistant to girls basketball coach Ellen O’Brien at Downers Grove South.
He jumped when the opportunity to coach Lyons’ girls basketball team arose. The Lions’ lineup features a number of veterans, including returning starters Kayla Morrissey, Victoria Swift and Gaby Galassini.
“When the position became open, I knew I would get back into coaching,” Krick said. “I didn’t know it would be this high level of coaching.”