In the end, Kerie DePell felt being a mom was more important than basketball.
So, DePell is stepping down as head coach of the Montana Tech women’s basketball team. The coach confirmed the move today. She informed athletic director Charles Bradley of her decision this morning.
“I want to be a good mom,” said DePell, who has three children with her husband Bill. “I just feel like I needed to do a better job. I had to pick between one of the two — coaching and being a mom — and that’s it.”
DePell’s third baby was born during the last basketball season. The DePell children are age 4, 2 and 6 months.
“It’s been pretty hard,” DePell said of coaching and parenting three young children.
In six years with the Orediggers, DePell posted an 83-88 overall record. She took the Orediggers to the NAIA national tournament two times — the only two times in school history.
Last June, DePell received the Coach of Character Award by the NAIA.
Bradley, who moved to Butte this spring, said it is too early to talk about replacing DePell.
“I think I need to go talk to my president,” Bradley said. “I’ll go talk to the man on the hill and put together a game plan.”
Bradley said DePell will be missed at Montana Tech.
“Kudos to her,” Bradley said. “She’s done a good job.”
DePell, 32, spent eight years in the Mining City. Her first two years were as an assistant to head coach Brian Holsinger.
She came to town after a standout career at Seattle Pacific University. As a senior, DePell averaged 15 points, six rebounds and three steals per game for the Falcons.
She played pro ball in Australia before getting into coaching. DePell also earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration, marketing in 2003. She’s currently working on her master’s degree in educational leadership through the University of Montana.
DePell is a native of Mount Vernon, Wash., and she said moving closer to home was part of her decision to leave the Orediggers. Bill DePell recently received a transfer to Spokane from FedEx.
“My kids only see my parents once a year, and that’s awful to me,” she said.
DePell leaves after putting together a strong recruiting class that includes Butte’s Hattie Thatcher, Kabri Emerson and Danee Leary.
“I honestly think this is the best team that I put together,” she said. “This team is going to be good.” 1 comment