Family comes first as Wolf steps down as Nicolet girls basketball coach

Teams won six NSC crowns in nine seasons

April 29, 2012

Glendale - Corey Wolf has resigned as Nicolet girls basketball coach.

"It's all about my family," said the mother of three, ages 7, 5 and 1. "I just want to spend more time with them. With their schooling and their activities, I just want to be able to see them a little more."

Wolf made the decision official on April 25. She spent nine very successful years with the Knights, winning six North Shore Conference titles including the last four in a row, with a WIAA State Division 1 championship in 2011 thrown in for good measure.

Wolf initially made her name in basketball as a Nicolet's hard-charging point guard back in the mid-1990s when she was known as Corey Bronson. She graduated in 1995 and played basketball and earned her master's degree from Marquette University in physical therapy in 2001.

She works for Aurora Advanced Healthcare.

Her husband, Jeff Wolf, was the longtime assistant coach for the Nicolet baseball team before taking over the head baseball coaching job at Germantown in recent years.

"Jeff has been really supportive of me. He would have been happy either way," Corey said. "He's just not sure I'll be happy now (laughs), because I really can't remember a time when I didn't have basketball in my life."

Nicolet Athletic Director Kirk Krychowiak is disappointed but understanding of Wolf's decision.

"Corey has always been the consummate professional," he said. "I've enjoyed working with her as much as I have with almost any other coach. I remember when we were both starting up and we were trying to get the school spirit up a bit. Corey and I teamed up on some ideas and tried to ratchet it up (the energy in the school) a little bit (using the girls team as the basis).

"Corey was really open to some ideas and they really helped."

Succeeded Gustavson

Her old coach John Gustavson, who is now athletic director at Whitefish Bay, headed up the Nicolet girls program for 14 seasons before taking the Bay position with Wolf succeeding him. In his current job, Gustavson values continuity, consistency and integrity and felt that Corey used those traits effectively herself as both a player and a coach.

"The line was pretty consistent, we were the only two people (to coach the team) for the last 23 years," he said. "… It was just great to see after 14 years of holding that position, that in the next nine years there was a strong degree of continuity in the program.

"She (Wolf) showed dedication to Nicolet and because of that Nicolet (the girls basketball program) remains respected not only for its performance on the court but also for its off-the-court activities as well."

Indeed, the team had double digit wins in seven of her nine years including more than 20 in each of the last three. Along with Wolf's six league titles, Gustavson won five in his time there, giving the program 11 such crowns in the last 23 years, an impressive feat by any measure.

Made decision after season

Wolf said she didn't think about stepping back much at all during the season.

"I wanted to be focused on the task at hand and give the kids (the players) the best experience possible," she said. "I wanted to do right by them, but after the season was done, I wanted to give myself some time and think about it. Make sure I knew I was making the right decision.

"And this will be tough, but I'm sure I'll get my basketball fix from watching the games (at Nicolet) and from watching my kids (former players) who are playing in college right now. I wish I could do it (coaching) forever, but I love my family more and that's what it came down to."

It's a point Krychowiak can't argue with.

"Just a wonderful, wonderful person," he said. "I fully understand why she did it, being a family man myself. It's just that we're going to miss her so much."

Two positions to fill

GIRLS BASKETBALL TIMELINE: Athletic Director Kirk Krychowiak said the job will be posted for about two weeks. He assumes there will be no shortage of candidates. A screening process will start shortly thereafter. With the summer league season coming soon he doesn't want to rush things but would like the position filled in about a month.

FOOTBALL TIMELINE: Krychowiak said that he received 26 applications for the football head coaching position and that it has already been winnowed down to eight finalists, each of whom has had an initial phone interview. The district will set up interviews for this week, with the announcement of the new coach shortly thereafter.

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