Croghan set to retire
There have been many memorable moments for Carson High School athletics over the past 30 years.
Chances are, Paul Croghan has been a part of a good share of those moments. After 38 years as a coach and teacher, Croghan said he will retire from Carson High at the end of this school year.
During his 38 years, Croghan has coached three sports every year during virtually all of those years. “I’ve enjoyed it and wanted it that way,” he said.
For the past several years, Croghan has coached boys and girls golf and girls basketball. Croghan will finish this season as the girls basketball coach and will coach boys golf before he retires at the end of the school year.
Croghan also served as the varsity football coach at Carson from 1983-1992 and also coached girls softball. Among his most memorable moments was serving as an assistant coach under Tom Andreasen for the 1975 Senator boys basketball state championship team.
After retiring, Croghan said he and his wife, Carmon, will move back to his native Nebraska. “That’s the plan, anyway,” he said.
Croghan graduated from high school of 120 students with a graduating class of 21 in Arnold, Neb. He played football and basketball at McCook Junior College in Nebraska and played football at Idaho State.
He taught in Idaho and Nebraska and taught for 30 years in Nevada, including 29 at Carson from 1971-75 and 1978-2003.
Croghan has served as Carson’s girls basketball coach for the past seven seasons. During that time, his teams have advanced to the state tournament all but one year and his club has an excellent chance of advancing to the state event again this season.
One of his more memorable moments likely came last season when his club upset Reno in the Northern 4A semifinals to clinch a state berth. Last year’s club went on to advance to the state semifinals.
Croghan said another one of his more memorable moments was placing third this season in a national tournament in Orlando, Fla.
In football, Croghan’s most succesful seasons came in 1983 and 1987. Under Croghan, Carson went 7-3 and tied for the league title in 1983. In 1987, Croghan’s team went 9-3 and advanced to the zone finals.
Among his players on the 1987 team was Carlos Mendegiua, now an assistant coach under Bruce Barnes for the boys basketball team.
Barnes played for Croghan when Croghan served as an assistant coach under Pete Padgett when Carson’s basketball team dominated the Northern zone in the early 1980s. Among Barnes’ teammates who played under Croghan and Padgett was Charley Kerfeld, who went on to pitch for the Houston Astros. Padgett is now Reno High’s boys basketball coach.
In girls golf, Croghan had an individual or team qualify for the state tournament every year that he was coach, from Lynda Upton when she was a freshman in his first year to Ciarra Christian this past season.
Croghan said Upton, who went on to play golf for the University of Nevada and professionally, was one of the best students and athletes “I’ve been involved with, boys or girls. She’s just an all-around person.”
Croghan has been around long enough to see one of the athletes he coached, Ken Furlong, to become Sheriff.
“I’ve been around some great individuals and some outstanding athletes, boys and girls,” Croghan said. “I’ve been real fortunate. I wouldn’t trade a day of it for anything.”
While Croghan has had plenty of success as a coach, he said he’ll most remember all the friendships he has made.
“That’s what it’s all about,” he said. “I’ve got a lot of memories that I’ll remember forever.”
As a coach, Croghan always seemed to be able to stay on an even emotional level.
“I get emotional, but I guess I show it in different ways,” he said.
“I guess it’s a composite of the coaches that I have worked with and that I played for,” Croghan also said about his coaching style. “Tom Andreasen, of course, has been a real big influence on me. You just take a little bit from here and there.”
Croghan said he began thinking about retiring last year. “It’s going to be tough,” he said. “I’ve got a lot of attachments, but you’ve got to do it some time.”