Athletics department celebrates Yvonne Kauffman's
legacy in grand fashion.
Team photos, awards and other mementos decorate the walls of Yvonne Kauffman's
For over 40 years, this legendary coach has touched the lives of hundreds of students through both coaching and teaching.
Kauffman, current head coach of Elizabethtown College's women's basketball team, announced back in November her plans to retire after the season.
is looking forward to having the extra hours to work on her
golf game and spend time at her
beach house, Etown athletics will be missing one of its greatest and most successful coaches.
Growing up the youngest of five children, Kauffman
spent most of her
time outside on her
family's farm, playing with her
They spent afternoons playing games like cops and robbers and cowboys and Indians.
It wasn't until Kauffman's family moved into town that she
started playing basketball and baseball on the playground with the neighborhood boys.
recalled with a grin, "They wanted me to play on the boy's baseball team, but my mom wouldn't let me."
grew up, sports consumed her
life, and she
continued to wrestle with her
neighbors and play baseball on the playground.
In sixth grade, there was a girl in her
town who was going off to college to be a physical education teacher.
was my idol," Kauffman
said, "and I decided in sixth grade that I wanted to be a physical education teacher."
To accomplish that dream, Kauffman
headed off to Bridgewater College
played field hockey, basketball and tennis.
weakest sport was basketball because her
high school did not have an official team.
"My freshman year [my coach] kept 24 players, and I think I was player 24," Kauffman
trained hard and ended up starting by her
After graduation, Kauffman
landed a teaching job at Etown.
first year, she
only taught physical education classes.
continued teaching classes over the years, swimming and badminton being her
coaching career commenced in 1967 when she
was handed the field hockey team.
took hold of the tennis team in the spring of 1970, and later that year, she
was coaching the basketball team as well.
For 12 years, Kauffman
coached all three of these sports at once and amassed over 1,100 total wins for the three sports combined.
Due to the increasing time spent on recruiting efforts in the offseason, Kauffman
stopped coaching the tennis team in 1983 and the field hockey team in 2000.
Throughout the years, Kauffman
has had some great moments in her
Apart from leading the basketball team to win the NCAA championship in 1982 and 1989, Kauffman
has had other great milestones.
attributes last Tuesday's home game against Lycoming College
as one of those times.
"That's the best Valentine's Day I've ever had," Kauffman
Looking back on her
decades of coaching, Kauffman
has enjoyed her
relationships with players, coaches and opponents the most.
"That's what I'll miss the most - the interactions with players and coaches," she
has also learned some important life lessons from her
years of coaching.
"You learn a lot about how to deal with individuals," she
"Each one gives you a bit of information you use later on, whether it's the psychological part of coaching or the skill part."
also laughed about some of the funnier times of coaching.
told stories about teams stuffing her
purse with silverware when she
went to the restroom at a restaurant and the time a player almost missed the bus coming back home.
did mention her
least favorite part of coaching.
"I think the thing I hate the most is deciding who plays and who doesn't play and feeling really badly about the ones that you have to cut and the ones who don't get in to play but come to every practice," she
Through the happy and sad moments, Kauffman
has amassed much coaching advice to impart to her
fellow coaches: know your athletes as individuals, be consistent with players and be as fair as you can.
trips to multiple conference championships and NCAA tournament appearances were rewarding, Kauffman
is ready to hang up her
After one of her
brothers passed away last March, she
decided to take more time for herself.
"Also, I just feel that it is time for a new coach to take over," Kauffman
"I feel that I'm leaving the program on the upswing."
will be keeping herself busy.
Kauffman plans to stay involved with sports during her
will be helping run sports tournaments over school breaks for high school and college teams in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
also plans to do some of her