Jarrod Klausman resigned as the boys’ basketball coach at Altoona Area High School on Monday after just three seasons at the helm.
“Even though I’m only 39, I’ve already been coaching for 15 years” Klausman said. “My wife and I have four children ages 8 and under. They all went above and beyond in their sacrifices to allow me to put everything I had physically, mentally and emotionally into the coaching. Coaching will always be an option for me if I ever want to get back into it, but my kids will only be small once. You only have one chance to be an amazing father and husband.
Klausman led Altoona to the Class 6A District 6 championships in each of his first two seasons before the Mountain Lions fell to State College in the district title game this season.
“I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished with the entire program during my time here,” Klausman said. “Back-to-back District 6 championships for the first time in 34 years, launched a sixth grade program and league from scratch, implemented a winter skills program for students in grades two through five, we have 120 kids coming to our elementary summer camp, several players who have moved up to the next level, I was asked to coach in the Altoona Mirror Basketball Classic, and we were more than competitive in the very tough Mid-Penn Commonwealth . I am very proud of the overall growth of the program as a whole since I took over until today.
Despite two league seasons, Altoona has only posted a 28-49 overall record over the past three years, including a 7-36 record over the past two seasons.
“Jarrod has done an honorable job over the past three years working to continue to change the culture in the best interest of our athletes and our school district,” Rico said. “In his three years, he won two District 6 championships. He had a lot of obstacles with COVID thrown at him, handled all adverse situations extremely well and was a strong leader. We will miss him.
Klausman’s children are also involved in sports.
“I have always had a contract with myself during my coaching career” Klausman said. “If the time commitment became too much for my family to handle, I would leave at that time, without hesitation. As difficult as it is to step away from the program, I truly believe this is the best decision for me and my family right now.
“My sons are old enough to understand the value of doing everything to the best of their abilities, with a high level of dedication, energy and passion, which I tell them about all the time. That said, they are still little kids and they miss their dad when I’m not home. With many of our games being so far apart, it’s hard to drop them off in the morning at my parents’ house knowing I won’t see them again until the next day.
Riccio says the search for a new coach will start shortly.
“Everything Happened (Monday)”, Rico said. “Naturally, we will follow the process once it has been approved by the board. We will advertise the position internally and externally. There is a long history with Altoona basketball and athletics, and we want to make sure we get the best candidates to work with our student-athletes in a successful and positive way.
Prior to his time at Altoona, Klausman coached with Brad Lear at Hollidaysburg.
“I want to thank Phil Riccio and the rest of the AAHS administration for giving me the opportunity to head coach at the highest level of high school basketball in the state, specifically at my alma mater, Klausman said.