Coach Kraus receives prestigious Nadal Sportsmanship Award


Coach Alex Kraus was awarded the Nadal Sportsmanship Award by the Founders League. This award is given annually to athletes, coaches, and teams who play by the rules and accept victory and defeat graciously. It may be awarded for sportsmanship in a specific competition or throughout the season.

The Nadal Sportsmanship Award was originally given to a member of the Erikson Football League but was then expanded to other sports after the establishment of the Founders League. The award was first established in 1969 to honor coach and athlete Manuel D. Nadal at Kent School. He graduated from Kent in 1917, played football, hockey, and baseball and earned a total of 14 letters. He even served as captain for the hockey and baseball teams.

After graduating, Nadal served in WWI. He then returned to Kent and coached football, hockey, and baseball for an incredible 89 seasons as head coach. Throughout his career, he also served as the Assistant to the Headmaster and Director of Athletics. Coach Kraus currently is the head coach for boys track and field and boys swimming and diving. He has been the head coach of these teams for an impressive 32 years and even has been the head coach for the girls track and field and swimming teams in the past.

Coach Kraus said that his favorite part of coaching is seeing the athletes develop over the years and being with them for a long time. “Ideally, you see somebody develop over four years,” he said. “You don’t tend to see that as a teacher.” In addition to being an outstanding coach, he currently teaches science in the Upper School. He attended Williams College and took a wide range of courses, ranging from English to pre-med.

Sophomore Nicholas Traver said that Coach Kraus is a great coach and always gets the best out of his athletes. He also said that Coach Kraus is really intelligent and strategizes well against other teams. “He pushes his players to get better and makes them want to get better,” Traver said.

Traver described Coach Kraus as an approachable person. “I am comfortable talking to him about everything whether it be for school or talking about the next race,” Traver said.

Sophmore Jamie Amell said that Coach Kraus is an amazing coach and always has a player’s best intentions in mind while also  looking over the whole team.  Coach Kraus has inspired many coaches, athletes, and students through his kind, caring, and empathetic nature whether it be in the classroom, in the pool, or on the track.