(Jan. 18, 2019) Former Stephen Decatur High School golf coach, Jim Krall, was recently inducted into the Eastern Shore Golf Hall of Fame.
“Being inducted into the ESG Magazine Hall of Fame was a tremendous honor, culminating from 20 years of passion for the sport,” Krall said. “I was very proud to be alongside the other six inductees, who each contributed a tremendous amount to the game. I will never forget the support I received from my family, friends, parents and players who were in attendance.”
Also inducted last Saturday at the Ocean City Golf Club were Bobby Vermillion (contributor), Bill Horney III (PGA), Steve Pappas (sponsor/contributor), Bob Crowther (PGA), Mike Hall (player) and Andre Jordan (Golf Course Superintendents Association of America).
Proceeds from the event benefit University of Maryland Eastern Shore Golf Management Program scholarship awarded on behalf of the 2018 inductees.
At the age of 7, Krall found a rusty set of clubs in a dumpster, cleaned them up, and hit balls all summer in an abandoned field.
“That’s how it all started,” said Krall, 51, who grew up in Peachtree City, Georgia.
His parents bought him a summer junior membership when he was about 12 years old at Flat Creek Country Club. Krall said he rode his bike six miles with clubs on his back, played golf all day, and then trekked back home.
“Those early years taught me humility, modesty and respect for what is earned,” he said. “I incorporated those qualities in the way I coached my players, to make them appreciate everything that was given to them and to not expect anything.”
Krall became a science teacher at Decatur in 1995. He was hired to coach golf at the Berlin school in 1998. He led the golf program for 20 seasons, from 1998-2017.
“It was a dream job come true,” he said. “Being the Stephen Decatur golf coach was an honor that I took seriously and enjoyed every moment for 20 years.”
Throughout his 20 years coaching, Krall said there was several key contributors who helped him build a strong program for Decatur.
“Coaches like Buck Guth, Scott Lenox, Jason Pylypczuk, Don Furbay and Dan Stearman – their role in player development was vital to our success,” he said. “They were true professionals who loved working with the kids.”
Krall said his coaching philosophy always focused on grooming the girls and boys to become ladies and gentlemen on and off the course.
“It wasn’t about winning. It was about making them respect the game, [and] themselves and their competitors, while having fun competing,” he said. “I am most proud of how many players I’ve introduced to the game or made the game enjoyable for them to play for the rest of their lives. The future of golf rest in the hands of the next generation of players. I’d like to think that I had a minor role in helping the future of the game.”
Krall and his players achieved much success over his 20 years leading the Decatur program.
Some of those accomplishments include:
* Team/players qualified for states 20 years straight
* Team career record of 110 first-place finishes, 90 second-places and four third-place finishes
* Eight Bayside South championship titles
* Seven Bayside Conference championship titles
* Seven District VIII championship titles
* Five Ryder Cup championship titles
* Krall named “Bayside South Coach of the Year” seven times
* Sent 38 individual golfers to the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association state golf tournament (many players several times)
* Best team finish at states – second place in 1A/2A, fifth place in 3A/4A
* Numerous players have gone on to compete in college (Division I, II and III) and many have made their careers in the golf industry
* Krall started the first Bayside South JV program in 2005
Krall served as the Bayside South director and on the MPSSAA State Golf Committee both for 11 years.
He was a contributor to the Eastern Shore Golf Magazine “Coach’s Chalkboard” column for eight years. It highlighted high school golf throughout the Eastern Shore.
“It gave me a platform to be able to spotlight all the kids from the 18 public schools in the Bayside Conference,” he said.
Krall was also the director of the annual Stephen Decatur Athletic Boosters Golf Tournament for 18 years. Over the 18 years, the tournament raised more than $275,000 for the school’s sports programs.
He has worked on the maintenance crew at Eagle’s Landing Golf Course since 2011 under Course Superintendent Joe Perry.
Krall lives in Ocean Pines with his wife, Shelly, and son, Matt.