Basketball Coaching Staff

Coach Joe Crilly

Coach Joe Crilly has been on the Nebraska D-League coaching staff since the inception of the program. As a Madison Dragon, Coach Crilly was a football standout and a basketball utility man. He is currently the head Girls Basketball coach at his alma mater where he works every day to build a program with the culture he instills.

"I'm fortunate enough to continually build the Nebraska D-League basketball program every summer. It has changed my way of thinking, not only about the game of basketball, but how important we as coaches can impact the players on & off the court."

Coach Joel Nixon

 Coach Joel Nixon joined the D-League staff in the summer of 2021. He was a standout at Wakefield High School with a 1,000 point scoring career. Nixon then played football at Morningside University in Sioux City where he was an All-American at Quarterback and National Player of the Year. 

Coach Nixon has a passion for coaching the youth with an emphasis on instilling fundamentals and competitiveness! He currently helps run clinics and skills series and brings great passion to helping athletes become the best they can be.

Coach Nixon leads the Norfolk D-League Boys program, as well as leading skills series, small groups, and individuals.

Coach Mark Keith

Coach Mark Keith joined Nebraska D-League in 2021 and is currently an Assistant Coach for Battle Creek High School. Coach Keith has played with and against several NBA players and assisted on AAU Teams. Coach Keith's college career never developed due to a severe knee injury, but as time helps heal all wounds.

Coach Keith learned what his true calling is - to help develop our children through a great TEAM (Together Everyone Achieves More) concept that will help develop great LEADERS (Living Examples Achieving Direction Education Reflecting Success). A D-League perspective with a world wide application.

Coach Keith does a great job with individual and small groups and brings great energy and passion on developing athletes. He also helps lead skills series and clinics for D-League.

Coach Keith


Coach Reese Hogue

Coach Reese Hogue has been a part of the Nebraska D-League staff since the Spring of 2022. Originally from Falls City, NE - Coach Hogue was a three sport athlete and has always had a passion to coach after high school. Teaching and coaching since 2018, Coach Hogue is currently an assistant coach for both the Bluejay softball and girls basketball teams.

"Coaching provides a unique opportunity where the competitive spirit of sports encourages and pushes athletes to grow. Through this growth, we as coaches get to see improvements not only on the court but within themselves as individuals. Coaching has always been in the cards for me and I am grateful for the opportunity to leave lasting impacts on each and every player."

Coach Frank Gade

Coach Frank Gade joined the Norfolk Area D-League in 2016. He is currently Head Coach for the Crofton Boys Program. Coach Gade served as the head boy’s coach of the Neligh-Oakdale Warriors from 2010-2018. His 2017 team was the Class C-2 State Runner-Up. He was also selected to coach in the NVC-MNAC and NE Nebraska All-Star games. Coach Gade played college ball at Hastings College.

“As a high school coach the opportunity to work with & have former players work with the Nebraska D-League is an overwhelming positive experience. While competing against the best in Northeast NE the kids grow in their game but also in there development as leaders.”

Coach Derric Werner

Coach Derric Werner joined the Nebraska D-League coaching staff in 2022. Coach Werner comes to us from his alma mater, Elkhorn Valley, and is in his 10th year as head coach of the Falcons. He coached track and field at Elkhorn Valley prior to coaching basketball. Coach Werner was a standout in high school in football, basketball, and track. He holds the school record for most points and rebounds in a game as well as the record for discus. He continues to hold the Class C State record for Discus. After high school, he continued his career at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for two years, where he was a member of both the track and field team and football team, before transferring to Southeast Community College in Milford for HVAC. He has owned his own business in Tilden for 14 years.

Some things Coach Werner loves about coaching for Nebraska D-League is the emphasis on fundamentals and pushing kids to compete at a high level. The camaraderie amongst coaches, players, and parents from many towns across northeast Nebraska makes D-League special. It is fun to compete with the kids you compete against the rest of the year.

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