Rob Klinkefus returns to South Dakota State in 2014-15 for his ninth year on Scott Nagy’s staff. Klinkefus came to SDSU from Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa, where he worked as an assistant coach from 2001-06 under Brian Van Haaften, one of the most successful coaches in the history of Division III basketball.
“Rob’s been with me longer than any other assistant coach I’ve ever had,” Nagy said. “He’s brought consistency to our staff, he’s strong in areas where I’m weak and we’ve always been a good balance to each other and worked well together.”
After spending his first two seasons coaching the Jackrabbit guards, Klinkefus returned to the familiar position of coaching the post players, a position he coached in nine of his 13 years in basketball, including the last six at SDSU, where he mentored a total of six All-Summit League selections. In total, he coached a total of 12 all-conference posts and one conference MVP in his nine years coaching the position.
“I really enjoy coaching the position and am very excited for these guys,” said Klinkefus. “We have a relatively new group of talented guys and a couple of guys returning that bring a good amount of experience, which makes it exciting not only for this year, but for the future as well.”
In addition to coaching the post players, Klinkefus’ duties include scouting and game preparations, individual workouts, recruiting and developing the Jackrabbits non-conference schedule.
Recruiting though remains coach Klink’s top priority, as the Jackrabbits look to continue the success of signing some of the top players in the Midwest to South Dakota State.
Klinkefus’ coaching career started in 2000, when he took an Associate Head Coach job at Storm Lake St. Mary’s High School. After a year at St. Mary’s, Klinkefus returned to Buena Vista as an assistant for the five most successful years in the program’s history. During his tenure at BVU, the Beavers posted a 115-33 overall record, a winning percentage of nearly 80 percent. During that same span, the Beavers won five straight IIAC tournament titles with a perfect 15-0 record and qualified for five straight national tournaments. During those five years, Klinkefus coached a total of 15 all-conference players and three conference MVPs.
Klinkefus begins his ninth season at South Dakota State, where he helped lead the program to the top of The Summit League, posting a 38-10 record against league competition in the last three years. The Jacks posted a 71-31 overall record in that span, including three straight postseason appearances, with NCAA Tournament appearances in 2012 and 2013, and a bid to the College Basketball Invitational in 2014.
As a student-athlete, Klinkefus won a pair of state football titles and one baseball championship in high school before heading off to college at Buena Vista, where he started at quarterback for all four years.
Before earning with a B.A. in Secondary Education from Buena Vista in 2000, Klinkefus earned newcomer of the year as a freshman and ranked third all-time in total offense when he graduated.
Before joining the staff at South Dakota State, Klinkefus earned a Master of Science degree in Education from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.
Klinkefus lives in Brookings with his wife, Megan.