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Ex-Ram takes over Wildcats

Former Ridgewood standout Julie Krull has the opportunity to shine again at Wesley Chapel.

By JAMAL THALJI

© St. Petersburg Times,
published June 14, 2001


WESLEY CHAPEL -- One of the county's most decorated athletes is also its newest coach.

Former Ridgewood three-sport standout Julie Krull was recently named volleyball coach at Wesley Chapel. She was elevated from the position of junior varsity coach after two years to replace former varsity coach Annie McGhee, who stepped down to take the position of athletic director.

The 27-year-old Krull was a captain on the Rams' volleyball, softball and basketball teams when she graduated in 1992, the same year she was a key part of Ridgewood's softball state championship squad.

"I'm excited and I'm a little bit nervous," Krull said. "I've gone to a couple of coaching clinics already this summer and I think I'm pretty well prepared.

"I always hoped I would get the chance (to coach) but I just didn't know when it would happen."

Wesley Chapel principal Andy Frelick said Krull was the natural choice to replace McGhee, who had been the program's only coach since the school opened two years ago. After going winless in her first season with a young and inexperienced junior varsity team, Krull guided the squad to a 13-10 record in 2000.

"I felt she had done such a good job she warranted a promotion," Frelick said. "With Annie McGhee taking over (as athletic director) we thought it better for her to give up one of her coaching responsibilities."

Krull attended Barton College in Wilson, N.C., for two years where she played softball and volleyball before transferring to South Florida to study teaching. She graduated in 1997 and has been teaching at Sand Pine Elementary school for five years. She will now teach math at nearby Weightman Middle School.

"I'm ecstatic. I think that's great for her," said Ridgewood volleyball coach Marlyn Bavetta, who coached Krull in high school. "I think she's just what this county needs in a coach. She has the heart, the desire, the knowledge and the push to coach."

Wesley Chapel won its first district title and earned its first playoff appearance last season. Krull's goal is to make the Wildcats more competitive against their county rivals in the difficult Sunshine Athletic Conference. To do so, she'll pick up on what she learned from Bavetta.

"She was very consistent with us," Krull said. "She set our expectations high. She always had a very firm, but friendly, attitude toward us.

"She was really positive. If we did something and we knew it was wrong, she let us know but she also let us know it was just a sport. We weren't going to win them all, but as long as we gave it our all that was fine.

"That's what I expect from our girls -- 100 percent."

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