NEW ULM - Kory Kettner, who resigned as the New Ulm Eagle boy's basketball coach on Monday, less than four weeks before high school basketball practice starts, said that "it would not be possible to build the program the way that I thought that it should be done" as one of his reasons for stepping down.
Kettner, who played college basketball at Minnesota State-Mankato, was the head coach of the Nicollet Raiders' boy's team and was also a radio analyst for Minnesota State-Mankato men's basketball, added that "as a head coach, you have to be able to do it [build the program] the way that you want to do it."
Kettner, who had brought a new enthusiasm to the program in a short while, said that there were a number of things that made him decide to resign.
"But the thing that put it over the top was an e-mail that Steve [Worm, New Ulm High School Activities Director] received saying something about the state of New Ulm Basketball. NUBA [New Ulm Basketball Association] had a sign-up on a Saturday not too long ago and I did not attend it - I did not know anything about it.
"As a head coach it is important to be able to work with the younger kids and be able to turn the kids on to the game of basketball and make it fun for them," Kettner said. "I think that there are philosophical differences between NUBA and what my philosophy is."
Kettner thought that the e-mailer was trying in a round-about way to cause some problems.
"This is something that I do not want to fight," he said. "I do not have time to deal with this kind of stuff and as a head coach, I do not get paid enough. Coaches salaries - you are not compensated very well."
He added that he felt that the high school basketball program cannot be turned around with the philosophies that NUBA has.
Kettner said that there are players who are dropping out of the basketball program even before they get up to the varsity level.
"There is one common thread with that program through the years and that is that they have not been very successful at the high school varsity level," he said. "In my opinion, the school the size of New Ulm should be more successful. The high school coaches have changed, the players have changed and yet the results are what they are. You can't even argue it."
Kettner did say that he feels that there are a lot of good people on the NUBA board that really have the kids best interest at heart.
"Unfortunately I do not feel that it is all of them," he said. "I think that there is maybe one or two of them that feel that they should run one way and that is kind of the way that it has been run. They are placing too much emphasis on winning at the youth level and not letting all of the kids getting on the floor and getting to play."
After Kettner was hired, he said that he attended a NUBA meeting just wanting to kind of feel them out and see what their philosophies were as far as playing time with the kids and how they were running their program.
"I stated my feelings about how all of the kids in the program should be playing," Kettner said. "I came away from the meeting with the feelings that they [NUBA] were not going to change so I was going to start a new elementary program on Saturday morning with which the varsity players at NUHS would help out a little bit - get the kids in the gym and get them excited about basketball. But I just felt that after that e-mail that it was just not going to work."
Kettner said that part of the e-mail "was about why we did not have a seventh grade (basketball) coach hired yet. The season was still six weeks away and the reason that there was not a 7th grade coach in place was that there was a candidate that had applied and he was working out of state at the time. Mr. Worm and myself wanted to do all of the interviews in one day - everything was under control. The e-mail also said that I was not at the NUBA sign-up which, in all reality, is not that big of a deal. I was going to try and do my own thing because of the differences."
Kettner still believes that there can be some really good things done in New Ulm.
"I would have never taken the job originally if I did not believe that way," he said.
Kettner said again that NUBA can be a very good thing.
"There are some people there that have the right intentions," he said. "They just need to step back and take a look at their philosophy and see where they can make some changes. NUHS has ran through so many varsity basketball coaches over there and they have not won."
Kettner did add that Steve Worm has supported him 100 percent and has always been positive with him.