During this past offseason, the women’s basketball team added an All-American. However, this All-American will not be wearing a uniform, she will be on the sideline.
This year, coach Val Klopfer will fill out the tactical braintrust led by head coach Dayna Smith and second assistant Christine Doogan. Klopfer, a native to upstate New York, played her high school ball at Albany’s Bishop Maginn, where she led her team to a remarkable 84-9 record over four seasons. After graduation, Klopfer headed south to Wake Forest.
While a member of the Demon Deacons, she compiled career statistics that placed her seventh all-time in 3-pointers made, eighth in 3-pointers attempted, and recorded an assist-to-turnover ratio of 1.17, placing her fourth in the school record books.
Klopfer graduated in May of 2002 with a B.A. in Elementary Education and a minor in Psychology. A true student-athlete, she was a perennial member of the ACC Honor Roll, the dean’s list and spent part of her senior year teaching fourth grade.
Klopfer spent last year coaching for her hometown school, the SUNY-Albany Great Danes, but could not resist the call of Cornell.
“I came to coach in the Ivy League because Cornell was on the verge of knocking off a few teams in the conference last year,” Klopfer said. “I think this may be the year we get over the hump and win those close games.”
Although a newcomer to the Red and still inexperienced, Klopfer has assumed many important responsibilities, including recruiting, scouting, helping with on-court practice, and film exchange. She spent this past summer canvassing the nation looking for talent — particularly low-post players.
During her playing career, Klopfer was described as having a tremendous work ethic and being a hard-nosed player. These attributes form the foundation of her coaching philosophy.
“I’m very intense and full of energy. I hope this trickles down to the players,” Klopfer said.
Klopfer has already made an impression on the team.
“[She’s] a great person,” senior standout guard Karen Force said. “She works well with the team. We’re excited to have her.”
Klopfer is also optimistic about the upcoming season.
“We have lots of experience with our seniors, and this season we can finally get there,” Klopfer said. “I want our team to be in better shape than any other team in the conference.
“We’re hungry and the Big Red is a force that is going to be reckoned with.”
Archived article by James Rich