GALESBURG, Illinois—Chris Klassen joins the Prairie Fire staff as the assistant women’s basketball coach. He comes to Knox from Pima Community College in Tucson, Arizona where he had served as the assistant women’s basketball coach since 2012. He also has experience at the high school and AAU levels.
“Chris is a highly regarded coach who brings a wealth of experience and passion to the position,” said head coach Emily Cline. “I am excited to have Chris join us and I know his recruiting experience, AAU experience, and basketball knowledge will help propel our program forward.”
At Pima, Klassen helped guide the Aztecs to a third place finish at the NJCAA National Tournament in 2016. The team also won six Regionals and an Arizona Community College Athletic Conference (ACCAC) Championship.
“My family and I are truly grateful to Director of Athletics Daniella Irle and Head Women’s Basketball Coach Emily Cline for believing in me and offering us a chance to be a part of the Knox family and join such a talented athletic department.”
Prior to coaching the women’s team at Pima, Klassen spent two seasons as an assistant with the men’s team. He is the head coach and founder of the Tucson Rattlers AAU Travel Club and previously spent two years as the varsity boys’ basketball coach at Palo Verde High School.
“We are excited to have a high-energy coach like Chris join the Prairie Fire family,” said Director of Athletics Daniella Irle. “He will help the women’s basketball team continue their run of success and be an excellent complement to Emily.”
The Prairie Fire women’s basketball team is coming off their first Midwest Conference Tournament appearance in over 20 years and have increased their win total in each of the last five seasons.
“I can’t wait to get on campus full time and hit the ground running,” added Klassen. “I will work tirelessly to assist Emily in continuing to move the women’s basketball program to new heights. I will bring high energy, passion, and dedication every day for Coach Cline and the team.”
Klassen graduated from William Penn University in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in Physical Education. He also received health and coaching endorsements. He was a four-year member and three-year starter on the men’s basketball team.