Bob Kremke played or coached boys basketball in every small town gym in eastern Nebraska for four decades and then had a second act with women’s basketball.
The Papillion native, who was a basketball player at Millard and who pitched at NU, died on Tuesday. He was 88 years old and a longtime resident of Arlington. Services will be held Friday at 10 a.m. at Salem Lutheran Church in Fontanelle, Nebraska.
Kremke’s unofficial career coaching record was 310-235. He started at Weeping Water, winning four district titles in five years and the Class C title in 1961. He went to Papillion and led the Monarchs to two district titles in five years before becoming high school principal in 1969 .
He was athletic director at Millard, then returned to coaching at Arlington for five years (1973-78, going 82-22). Later coaches were at Plattsmouth for three years and Bennington for four years.
“Bob Kremke (is) an accomplice,” a 1976 Fremont Tribune article began. Kremke is one of the most respected coaches in the Fremont area.
People also read…
When he was out of school, Kremke ran taverns in Papillion and later Arlington and worked as a commodity broker in Lexington.
He returned to teaching at age 67 in 2000, when he was about to renew his teaching certificate and read about an opening in social studies in Louisville. From 2004 to 2007, he coached the Louisville Girls.
“Everyone kind of wondered about it,” longtime friend Steve Daniell said in a 2006 World-Herald article. “But I don’t know if it’s totally different for him to coach girls. He makes them compete extremely hard. He’s not really easy with them either.”
Kremke was the leading scorer on Millard’s 1951 Class D State Championship basketball team. The previous summer, he pitched Millard to the American Legion Baseball Class A title and a berth in the regional ones in Hastings.
While at NU from 1951 to 1957, with a two-year break for military service during the Korean War, he played basketball and pitched. His baseball teammates included Husker football great Bobby Reynolds and future Elkhorn Mount Michael coaching legend Jim Kane.
Kremke’s wife of 58 years, the former Charleen Peters, died in 2017. Survivors include daughter Donnette Kremke-Bastian, granddaughters Charlsie and Madison Bastian, and special friend Norma Heldt.