Entering his 40th year as head basketball coach of the Lady Senators, Dave Kragel has developed a program that is known nationally for its excellence on and off the court. The Lady Senators have been nationally ranked 29 of Kragel's 39 years. Kragel reached a milestone on February 24th, 2016, when he won his 900th game at WSCC. In 2014, Kragel was inducted into the National Community College Coaches Athletic Association Hall of Fame.
On the court, Kragel has established a winning tradition by stressing 100 percent effort, defense and discipline of his players. His teams have won 904 games, 15 eastern Division Championships, 16 State Championships, 13 Region VII Championships and 7 TCCAA Conference Championships. Other accolades include 6 State runners-up and 8 Region VII runners-up.
Since the 1975-76 seasons, the Lady Senators have played in 21 Region VII Championship games winning 13, giving the Lady Senators the most championships in the region. Kragel’s teams have made 12 national tournament appearances (1992, 1998, 1999, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016). In 1992 and 2005, the Lady Senators finished eighth, in 2009 they finished fifth, in 2015 they finished fourth and in 2016 reached the Elite Eight in the National Tournament among NJCAA Division I junior colleges. From 1991 to 1995, Kragel's teams amassed an incredible 47 wins in a row at home, winning 42 straight conference games during this same period. The Lady Senators followed that streak with another 59 straight conference games at home during 2007-2011. The Lady Senators are presently in a streak of 105 conference game wins both at home and on the road dating back to February of 2011.
Kragel has coached 24 All-Americans with four being named first team All-Americans. He has also coached 68 All-Region players. During his time as a Coach of the Lady Senators, 152 players received scholarships to play and complete their education at four-year schools.
Off the court, Kragel's teams have excelled academically. One of the proudest achievements of the Lady Senators program is that 90 percent of Kragel's players earn a degree from Walters State and/or transfer to a four-year college or university to continue their education. Coach Kragel has had the privilege of coaching five Academic All-Americans.
In December of 2004 Kragel was inducted into the Tennessee Junior and Community College Athletic Association Hall of Fame. He has been named TJCAA coach of the year 18 times throughout his career, and 12 times he’s been named NJCAA Region VII coach of the year. In 2016 Kragel was the first athlete to be inducted into the Southwestern Community College Athletic Hall of Fame. Kragel is currently third in total wins among active coaches in the NJCAA.
In 2013, Kragel received the Union of Churches and Ministerial Alliance Dr. Donald C. Holness Sr. Leadership Award during the Alliance’s celebration of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. Kragel was the first person chosen to receive this honor, named in honor of the founder of the Union of Churches and Ministerial Alliance.