Shane Clipfell named women's basketball head coach

contact: Kristin Keirns
| WMU News
Photo of Shane Clipfell.

Clipfell (center) at Michigan State

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University announced Friday the hiring of Shane Clipfell as the sixth women's basketball head coach in program history.

Clipfell is leaving Michigan State University, where he served as associate head coach of women's basketball. He has strong ties in the state of Michigan and the Mid-American Conference and has worked at every level of women's basketball.

"Shane embodies the vision and passion, and has the championship experience as a head and assistant coach to lead the Broncos to Mid-American Conference championships," said WMU Athletic Director Kathy Beauregard.

"My wife (Connie) and I are thrilled to come back to the Kalamazoo area," said Clipfell. "I loved competing in the MAC, and I am very happy to have the chance to return to the conference. I have always thought that Western Michigan University was a special place and after spending time here last week and meeting many of the fine people here, I am now assured of that."

For the past 14 years, Clipfell has worked in different capacities under Michigan State coach Suzy Merchant. He began with Merchant as an assistant at Eastern Michigan University during the 1998-99 season and has been at Michigan State the past five years since Merchant took the helm there in 2007, the past three years, as the associate head coach.

Michigan State captured its first outright Big Ten title in school history in the 2010-11 season and has advanced to the NCAA Tournament each of the past four seasons.

In nine seasons at Eastern Michigan, Clipfell helped build the women's basktball team into one of the top programs in the MAC. Eastern Michigan compiled a record of 160-103, including three 20-win seasons, three postseason appearances, two MAC West Division titles and the MAC Tournament championship for the first time in school history.

Clipfell was the acting head coach at Eastern Michigan for all but four games of the 2006-07 season, while Merchant was on maternity leave. He guided the team to a 16-13 overall record and a second place finish in the MAC West with a 10-6 record.

Prior to joining Merchant's staff at Eastern Michigan, Clipfell spent five seasons at Glen Oaks Community College, including three as head coach, and 11 years as the varsity head coach at Colon (Mich.) High School.

Clipfell graduated from Eastern Michigan in 2006 with a bachelor's degree in communication. He and his wife, Connie, have two adult children.

Visit for more information.