New Wisconsin Coach Hall of Famer Greg Dull has lasting impact on Coulee Region hoops

For Greg Dull it’s a humble beginning to his basketball career.

“I played for the North Crawford Trojans, or at least, I sat on the bench for the North Crawford Trojans,” he laughed.

But the love of the game always stuck with him as he began coaching Tomah girls in the early 1980s.

“I was also a sponge,” Dull said regarding his early coaching days. “There are so many coaches in the area I stole stuff from. If they were beating me with something, I’d learn how to do it.”

At all of his three high school stops, a top philosophy was getting everyone involved.

“I had learned it’s more fun if you play every kid every game, and we did,” Dull said. “We used to yell line change like it was a hockey match. And we sold the kids on the idea that I wanted them to play as hard as they could for two minutes and then I’d get them out of there.”

At Sparta, and especially Brookwood, he engineered success almost immediately, helping the Falcons win their first-ever conference title his first year.

“For him to come in as a brand-new coach and take a team that’s never ever won a conference championship and do that right away, on top of a regional championship, I think about that often,” said Briana Nelson, a 2016 Brookwood grad.

Dull says he did it unconventionally, everything from team whitewater rafting trips in the summer to his gameplan strategy.

“He would come with paper towel or Kleenex or napkins with little notes he’d write because he just thought of it during the day,” Nelson said. “He brought so much fun back to our program. Before I was a freshman I would go watch my cousins play at our high school, and the excitement for girls basketball wasn’t there. When Coach Dull came in there was so much excitement. We had record-breaking numbers at our games. I remember a game against Hillsboro my freshman year where we had standing room only.”

So it’s not the 375 wins. It’s the team bonding, memories, and lifelong relationships that make a lasting impact.

“I have so much respect for Greg and I learned a lot working with him,” former Sparta and current West Salem girls basketball head coach Matt Quick said. “His ability to bring a group together. He was just a master at taking a group of girls and building those relationships.”

Said Nelson, “He wasn’t easy on us, but he would tell us I expect greatness because I know you guys can be great.”

“I remember everything about basketball,” Dull said. “Who played, where they played, what the game was like. I don’t have all the numbers, but I have all the emotion connected with it. That sticks.”