Austin Klumpe will be replacing varsity coach Scott Stein as the next girls’ varsity basketball coach. He will join the East staff as a business teacher. Klumpe is looking to make changes to the girls’ basketball program as a whole, specifically in the categories of identity, academics, values, summer workouts and youth programs.
“I just want to show you guys how much I care because overall what we want to create is a players’ program,” Klumpe said. “Everything we do is for you guys.”
“What do we want to be known as?” Klumpe asked his audience at the girls’ basketball informational meeting.
Klumpe wants his team to be known as a strong, defensive team.
“Tough doesn’t mean throwing elbows,” Klumpe said. “Tough means you rotate and take charges.”
As practices begin, Klumpe will look to run defensive drills every day. He’ll focus on boxing out, crashing the boards, taking charges and driving the floor. Although Klumpe doesn’t know how he’ll run his offense yet, the team at least has an idea about their defense.
“I want all of us, to earn it, every minute,” Klumpe said.
Coach Klumpe’s number one goal for the girls’ basketball program isn’t to make it to regionals, league or state. It’s to make sure that each player receives a solid education.
“Stressing academics is obviously number one because that will be the foundation for the future,” Klumpe said.
Klumpe hopes that his team will be able to maintain a cumulative 3.5 GPA or higher during the school year.
“On the first day of class, show up early so you can beat other kids out for the front row,” Klumpe told his team during the girls’ basketball informational meeting held on April 22. “Front row of class. Remember that.”
Not only does Klumpe want his players to become better basketball players, he wants them to become better people.
“As teachers and educators, we have to take kids where they can’t take themselves,” Klumpe said. “Meaning that they are relying on us for leadership, they are relying on us as educators, as mentors, as somebody they can turn to.”
Klumpe hopes to teach his players to attack practice and improve everyday. He wants his players to then use the same ideals taught in practice to apply them to every aspect of their life.
“We’ve got to make sure that our kids are becoming the best people that they can be,” Klumpe said. “As a student, as a player, as a person.”
Many of the girls who walked into the girls’ basketball informational meeting didn’t realize that they’d be walking out with a full summer schedule.
Coach Klumpe will be utilizing every opportunity he has to get with his players and get them prepared for the upcoming season. Right after school lets out, the girls will participate in the 2013 Kiwanis Club of Old Mission High School Girls’ Basketball Camp held at East. They will be participating in the high school summer league held at SM South simultaneously. Klumpe also hopes to take his team to the Emporia State University team camp held from June 24-26.
Meanwhile, the team will settle into a routine of open gym and weights every weekday morning starting on June 3.
“I will be in the gym every single day so you don’t have to worry about me not showing up; that’s my job,” Klumpe said. “I love weights, love conditioning and I know a lot about it.”
Coach Klumpe is already looking to develop a youth girls’ basketball program that will hopefully reap results in years to come.
“The foundation of our program is going to be our youth,” Klumpe said. “If we can get kids interested and excited about the opportunity to play basketball, then we can keep them in that sport and can develop them to be good athletes and good students as well.”
There will be a youth summer league at SM South beginning on May 29 for third through eighth graders interested in playing basketball. Klumpe will also host a youth skills fundamental camp for at East over the summer.
At the camps and leagues, Klumpe will teach the players the same plays, drills and techniques used at the high school level. This feeder program will try to make the transition into high school basketball more smoother and easier on the players.
“We aren’t going to turn any kid down,” Klumpe said. “We are going to give every kid an opportunity to play.”