Rob Klinkefus returns to South Dakota State in 2015-16 for his 10th 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.
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 10 of his 14 years in basketball, including the last seven at SDSU, where he mentored a total of seven All-Summit League selections. In total, he coached a total of 13 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 great group of talented young guys and a number of guys returning that bring some great experience, which makes it exciting not only for this year, but down the road 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 coaching position 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 10th season at South Dakota State, where he helped lead the program to the top of The Summit League, posting a 50-14 record against league competition over the last four years. The Jacks posted a 95-41 overall record in that span, including four straight postseason appearances, with NCAA Tournament appearances in 2012 and 2013, a bid to the CBI in 2014 and to the NIT in 2015, when the team won its first-ever postseason game at the Division I level.
As a student-athlete, Klinkefus won two 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, in 2004.
Klinkefus lives in Brookings with his wife, Megan.