Stability, continuity and passion.
Those three words could sum up exactly what Boulder athletic director Melissa Warfield was looking for in a coach for the Panthers’ girls basketball team. What she got with Sara Klippert is a coach with all those intangibles, but also someone who is familiar with the plights of the program over the past few years.
On Monday, Klippert was officially introduced as the program’s the seventh head coach in the past five seasons. Both parties feel as though this relationship could last a lot longer than a year, with the goal in mind of giving the girls on the team the best possible experience.
“I definitely think I’ve been one of the common denominators for them, so what’s nice is they already know my coaching style and they don’t really need to learn me,” said Klippert, who was with Boulder as an assistant alongside Ron Burgin last year and also worked with the Panthers from 2005-10. “I think the girls have been looking for that stability, and I think I am a good fit to bridge that gap.”
“I was looking for somebody who is passionate about basketball, has high expectations and hopefully will be around for awhile,” said Warfield. “We want somebody who is going to stick around, and I think one of the pluses about Sara is she’s been here and she knows what’s happened.”
There is a lot of familiarity between Klippert and the returning players from last year. When the school held a gathering Monday night for Klippert and the players at the school, it was more a casual reunion than a meet-and-greet.
That’s comforting for everyone involved, and Warfield said she thinks Klippert’s established relationships with the players will help usher in a new era.
“She is a known commodity … and she was a great candidate with a lot of coaching experience,” Warfield said. “The girls know what they’re going to get.”
This will be Klippert’s first head coaching job, but she has been in the district since 2005 when she first signed on to aid at BHS. From the 2010-11 season until last year, Klippert worked at Monarch under the tutelage of Gail Hook, absorbing a ton of coaching knowledge from that experience.
You’ll likely see her out on the court motivating her players at every opportunity, something she has always taken pride in.
“What I can’t demonstrate, I can definitely communicate. I guess I could come off as being intense, but it’s just my passion for the game and I want that to rub off on the girls,” the former Montrose basketball and volleyball player said. “I’m pretty loud, I guess, but I’m into it.
“The most heartfelt moment for me was that the girls, they know my style and my high expectations, and they still wanted me as coach. The girls want to win and they want the program to be better.”
Despite the coaching carousel, the Panthers have remained competitive — last year they finished 14-11 and won a Class 5A first round playoff game. Klippert is eager to send off this year’s class of seniors on a high note as well as to give the next batch of players a chance for success.
Meanwhile, she’ll be working toward a master’s degree in secondary education in hopes of becoming a teacher.
“My passion for coaching has inspired my passion for teaching. This just seemed to be a good fit with everything else just kind of coming together for me,” Klippert said.
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