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SoCalHoops Recruiting News

Upland's Jeff Klein Named New Head
Coach At Chaffey College--(Apr. 12, 2001)

We just got word from former Upland High School boys basketball coach Jeff Klein that he has accepted the Chaffey College men's basketball head coaching position.  Upland is now in the process of looking for a new boys varsity coach, and interested applicants should contact the school.

The Chaffey job is apparently the first Community College in the state to offer a full - time coaching position without teaching, so Klein believes this will allow him the opportunity to give extra attention to his players' academic needs as well as running a first class basketball team, not to mention having plenty of time for recruiting.

Klein first made his mark in SoCal as he helped start the boys' basketball program at A.B. Miller High almost 10 years ago. After a year at AB Miller, he moved to Upland.  Klein has been coaching for 15 years at the high school level, and effective July 1, he will officially replace Nerses Kopalyan, who left the Chaffey job to focus more on his family business.

"The thing that's most exciting to me about this position is that I see myself as a basketball coach first and Chaffey's giving me this opportunity to be a full-time basketball coach," Klein told the Los Angeles Times last week. "It's the only job of its kind in the state. Chaffey is blazing a real positive trail with this job. They're trendsetters. This will change the way community colleges operate."

Klein has had great success while at Upland, and this year was the pinnacle of that success. The Highlanders had their best season in school history, finishing 32-2 and winning the CIF Southern Section Division 1-AAA title. The team advanced to the state Division I Southern Regional semifinals, losing to eventual state champion Mater Dei, and for a time they were nationally ranked.  Klein was named CIF Division 1-AAA Coach of the Year and Inland Valley Times' Coach of the Year.

Klein, 38, will meet with Nerses Kopalyan this week, and make plans to hire an assistant. The Panthers have three returners from this past season's 18-13 team: guard Donnell Feaster, who was an All-Foothill Conference selection, swingman Mike Niles from Ontario High and guard Donald McCoy. And don't be surprised to see some of the current Upland graduating seniors playing for Chaffey next season.

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