Athlete. Aurora Class of 1971. High school athlete of the year, arguably one of the best all-around athlete ever to play in Nebraska. His prowess in sports is shown in the fact that he was one of only a few Nebraska high school athletes recruited in both basketball and football by big time colleges, and, to top if off, sought after college by both the National Football League and two professional basketball leagues.
He was twice all-state in in high school football, twice in basketball and a track gold medal winner. He averaged 32 points in basketball his senior year and scored 45 points in a state tournament battle with Fairbury that stands as one of the best individual showings in state tournament history..
After an All-American career at Kearney State, Kropp played for the NBA Chicago Bulls and had a rewarding career on the European pro tour. High school Athlete of the Year.
Now here's the other half of the story: One of Nebraska's greatest athletes has become one of the most respected basketball coaches in the nation. In 12 seasons as head coach of the University of Nebraska Kearney, he posted a 245-105 record, a winning percentage of 70 percent.
Kropp played football and basketball at UNK from 1971-1975 and was selected to the NAIA All-American team in both sports. Twice he was named to the Academic All-American basketball team. He was also named the Nebraska State College Athlete of the Year at the end of both his junior and senior seasons.
Kropp is the only player in school history to average a double double over his career (20.7 ppg, 11.2 rpg). He currently ranks second in career rebounds (1,022), is fourth in scoring (1,884) and is fifth in steals (169). He also is in the top ten in assists. As a senior, Kropp tallied 51 points in a win over Central Missouri State, still a record for points in a game by a Loper. During his career, Kropp guided the Lopers to a 67-30 record.
completing his collegiate career, he was drafted in the eighth round by the
NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers, in the third round by the ABA’s Denver Nuggets, and
in the third round by the NBA’s Washington Bullets. He signed with the Bullets
and was traded to the Chicago Bulls after his rookie season. He completed his
second season with Chicago but was waived after one game of his third season in
the NBA. He culminated his playing career by playing in Belgium from 1979-1983.
Three years ago, Sports Illustrated named him one of Nebraska’s 50 greatest athletes of the 20th century.
Since his retirement from playing, he has been honored as Nebraska’s All-Time Greatest Athlete for the decade of 1970-1980, and has been inducted into both the UNK and the Nebraska Football Halls of Fame. He is also a member of the NAIA Hall of Fame and was inducted into the Nebraska High School Hall of Fame in 1995.
Kropp earned his doctorate in Educational Administration from Nebraska-Lincoln in 1989.
Prior to his collegiate career, he was a four-sport athlete at Aurora High School and was named the State High School Athlete of the Year in 1971. The Nebraska Shrine Bowl honored him as one of the top 25 football players in Nebraska High School history and the Omaha World-Herald selected him one of the top five basketball players in Nebraska High School history.
Kropp and his wife, Sonja, have a daughter, Dominique.