New SM East women’s basketball coach pledges ‘new energy, enthusiasm’

The program’s next game may still be months away, but SM East’s women’s basketball program is already enjoying some fresh energy as preparations for the 2013-2014 season begin.

Klumpe on the sidelines in Emporia.

The school announced earlier this month that Emporia State University women’s basketball assistant Austin Klumpe will be its next head coach. Klumpe replaces Scott Stein, who went 27-34 in three seasons at SM East. The Lady Lancers finished the 2012-2013 season 6-14.

A native of Madison, Kan., Klumpe played four years at McPherson College, where he graduated in 2007 with a degree in business administration. He first got into coaching as a volunteer assistant for the Emporia State University women’s basketball in 2008. From 2009-2011, he was a graduate assistant for the men’s team. He has also worked with the programs at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, in Texas, and Murray State College, in Oklahoma. He returned to Kansas as an assistant for the Emporia State women’s program last season.

Klumpe said the opportunity at SM East will allow him to follow his two passions: coaching and teaching.

“Teaching business and coaching basketball — this was just a great fit for me,” he said. “I could tell from my interview and visit that this was a chance to both teach and coach at a high level.”

Klumpe made his debut before players and parents Tuesday at “Meet the Coach” night, where he said he was impressed by the level of spirit surrounding the program.

“No doubt there’s high anticipation and a new buzz going around — you could feel it,” he said. “My philosophy is going to be on constant daily improvement. We want a new energy level and sense of enthusiasm.”

The girls basketball program will be hosting summer camps for both high school and youth players starting at the end of next month.