Don Klass - Teaching the 1-3-1 Zone Defense
Don Klaas has been the head basketball coach at College of DuPage for 34 years (1978 to present). His career record at DuPage is 730-363 for almost a 70% winning percentage. His teams have averaged 21 wins per season for 34 years. His teams have won the North Central Community College Conference (N4C) 12 times and have won the Region IV Tournament 7 times. His 2001-02 team won the Division III National Championship. 75 of his players have gone on to four year schools with scholarships.
He has numerous coaching honors including National Coach of the Year in 2001-02. He reached the 800 win club in the 2010-11 season and has completed 42 years as a head junior college coach. His overall record is 824-452. He ranks #1 in junior college wins in Illinois and #8 in NJCAA history. He ranks #1 in wins for NJCAA Division III coaches. He coached at Penn State – McKeesport (1970-75) and at University of Wisconsin – Richland (1975-78). He played college basketball at the University of Wisconsin – Platteville and upon graduation in 1969 received a graduate assistantship at the University of Kentucky. He worked under the legendary Adolph Rupp and Joe B. Hall.
He was inducted into the NJCAA Hall of Fame in 2003, as well as, inducted into the Illinois Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002. He has coached three teams that finished as the #1 Defense in the NJCAA (1975-76), 1985-86 and 1987-88). His
The most important thing to Coach Klaas is to take care of the ball. He considers ball possession and team defense to be synonymous. Coach Klaas says “If you don’t take care of the ball, not much else matters”. He tells his players that many teams they play will be bigger, quicker, stronger and faster. No team should be smarter! Figuratively, he tells his players that in the early season, they are a finger! He wants them to become a fist! The real good teams become the double fist!