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L-R: Haynes, Pearson, Banktson.
Courtesy: WMU

Clipfell Completes Women’s Basketball Staff

Courtesy: Kristin Keirns, associate director of athletic media relations
Release: 06/12/2012
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KALAMAZOO, Mich.- Western Michigan head women's basketball coach Shane Clipfell has announced the completion of his coaching staff, with the hiring of assistants Rene Haynes and Cara Pearson, as well as director of operations Brenna Banktson. They joined Clipfell, in his first season, as well as current assistant coach Kristin Koetsier in her third year.

Haynes was a standout guard at Michigan State from 2003-07, where she played in 135 career games, scoring the 12th-most points in school history. She previously spent the last year as a graduate assistant at Florida State after a concluding a four-year professional playing career overseas. She will work closely with Bronco perimeter players.

Pearson is an 11-year coaching veteran, and most recently was at Mid-American Conference counterpart Buffalo for five seasons, holding the title of associate head coach for the last four. Pearson also made coaching stops at North Dakota State, Loyola-Chicago, Akron and Minnesota. She played collegiately at Minnesota, where she ranks 13th all-time in scoring, as well as professionally in the WNBA and overseas. Pearson will work with both the Bronco perimeter and post players.

Banktson needs little introduction at Western Michigan, where she was a four-year standout from 2007-11, leaving the program ranked 18th in career scoring and in the top 10 for three-pointers made and three-point percentage. Banktson spent this past season in a similar operations role at Kent State, and will handle the Broncos' team logistics, coordinating team travel, as well as film exchange.


Statement From Head Coach Shane Clipfell:
"It is with great enthusiasm that we announce we have finalized the remainder of our staff for the upcoming year. We have found coaches that share in our vision of the program and we are ready to start the process of building a championship program here at Western Michigan. A major criterion that we looked for in our staff was we wanted coaches who believe that the student-athlete experience is the most important mission we have.

"Furthermore, we wanted coaches who believe the most important component of recruiting first and foremost is finding student-athletes with impeccable character. We also wanted coaches who also believe that academics are the focal point of how we prepare our student-athletes for their futures. We have found that in our new hires and this staff is ready to bring championships back to this campus and community.

"Cara brings us a wealth of experience, having played and coached in this region her entire coaching career. She brings us a BCS and professional level playing experience as well as great recruiting ties to this region. She will serve as the primary individual skill development coach, prepare scouting reports, implement game plans and focusing on our offense. We love that she has spent the last five years in the MAC and can hit the ground running with her familiarity of the conference landscape. Cara is a true professional, she is a great teacher of the game, she is widely respected by her peers and we are thrilled to have her join our staff.

"Rene also brings us BCS and professional playing experience along with her strong recruiting ties to this region. She was a terrific player and she brings the same passion and energy she played with to her new position as an assistant coach. She gained valuable experience in her role at Florida State this past season and we believe she will make an immediate impact on our staff and with our players. She will be responsible for individual skill development with our perimeter players. She will also play a large role in recruiting, monitoring academics, preparing scouting reports and focusing on our defense.

"We couldn't be happier about Brenna's decision to come back to Western Michigan and be a part of our staff. Brenna will be responsible for organizing our film, our team travel and our team community events among various other duties. Brenna is highly organized and efficient and has already made an impact on our daily routine here. She was a terrific Bronco when she played here and there is no doubt in my mind that she will be a terrific director of basketball operations as well.

"This completes our staff and that has allowed us to reorganize the role of Kristin Koetsier as well. Kristin will now organize our recruiting efforts, including scheduling all of our off campus evaluations as well as our official and unofficial visits. Kristin will also be responsible for individual skill development for our post players and will also prepare scouting reports for our opponents."


Comment From Assistant Coach Rene Haynes:
"I am very blessed to be a part of Coach Clipfell’s staff and the Western Michigan family. I am very excited to be back in the state of Michigan and share my love and knowledge for the game with the present and future women of this program."

Comment From Assistant Coach Cara Pearson:
"I would like to thank Shane Clipfell, Kathy Beauregard, other administrative staff and distinguished alumni for introducing me to the tradition of excellence that Western Michigan University fosters. It is an exciting time for Bronco women's basketball and an opportunity to build a culture of winning. I am thrilled to work with someone of Shane's abilities. He is always mindful of the vision for the program, as well as, thoughtful of everyone that has a stake in the honored history and future success of the team. I will work to be the best coach and Leader for our student-athletes, so that they will carry those lessons into our community and their futures."

Comment From Director of Operations Brenna Banktson:
"I am so honored and thrilled to have the opportunity to come back to my alma mater, Western Michigan University. WMU has made a great choice in the hiring of Coach Clipfell; I am very fortunate to be able to work for and expand my basketball knowledge under someone who is so dedicated, passionate and well-respected in the basketball community. The Western Michigan women's basketball team is headed in the right direction and I am more than excited to help build our program and represent the university and the Kalamazoo community again."