ELIZABETHTOWN, Pa. - Bridgewater College Athletics Hall of Fame member Yvonne Kauffman has announced her plans to retire at the end of the season after 42 impressive years at the helm of the Elizabethtown Blue Jays women's basketball program.
was inducted into Bridgewater's
Athletic Hall of Fame in 1997.
As an Eagle athlete, she
helped the field hockey squad to a 24-9-6 overall record, the basketball team to a 45-8 overall record and the tennis team to 16 wins.
"Yonnie" excelled in field hockey, where she
participated on a Virginia Regional squad in 1962, and in national tournaments in Rochester, N.Y., in 1963, Philadelphia, Pa., in 1964, and in Northampton, Mass., in 1965.
She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Bridgewater in 1966.
Coaches are continually building programs from obscurity to contender, but few get to stamp their mark on the rise of an athletic department.
Forty-second-year women's basketball head coach, and associate director of athletics, Yvonne Kauffman is one of those few.
Kauffman has served Elizabethtown College for over five decades, as coach, educator and administrator.
Thursday morning she
announced what many close to her
have known, that she
plans to retire following the 2011-12 academic year.
Those who have followed Elizabethtown Athletics can point to over 1,130 career wins divided amongst women's basketball, field hockey and women's tennis as a definer of Kauffman's career.
Or they can single out NCAA Division III Women's Basketball National Championships in 1982 and 1989.
All accomplishments hold their own special place, says Kauffman
, but it's been about much more than that.
"I knew I wanted to be a physical education teacher from about sixth grade on," noted Kauffman
played all three sports she
would coach at Elizabethtown
under Laura Mapp at Bridgewater
arrived back in Central Pennsylvania following her
graduation in 1966 and immediately began teaching physical education classes at E-town that fall.
A year later, Kauffman
took the reins of the field hockey program.
In 1970 she
began coaching both the women's basketball and tennis teams.
Success quickly followed the standout athlete.
compiled 346 victories with the hockey team, including three Middle Atlantic Conference Championships (1975, 1978 and 1987), seven NCAA tournament appearances and trips to the AIAW Final Four (1980) and NCAA Division III Final Four (1981).
spent 33 seasons with the field hockey team before stepping aside following the 2000 season, in which she
was also named Commonwealth Coach of the Year.
14 years as the tennis coach the Blue Jays turned in four unbeaten seasons and were MAC Runners-Up in 1983.
Beckie Donecker '82 won an NCAA Division III Singles National Championship under the tutelage of Kauffman
during her senior year and teamed with Jen Haifley '81 to win an AIAW Doubles title in 1981.
Entering the 2011-12 season, Kauffman
was 27 wins shy of 700 all-time.
That number has decreased to 23 following her
team's 4-3 start.
The longest tenured coach in E-town history, Kauffman ranks 18th amongst NCAA coaches in wins with 677, regardless of division, and 12th amongst active coaches.
When it comes to her
Division III colleagues, Kauffman
is second amongst active coaches in wins and third all-time.
"We wanted to win it all, nothing else," recalls Kauffman
Twenty-six wins later (26-1) the Blue Jays did just that, taking the 1982 NCAA Division III National Championship on their home court, 67-66, against UNC-Greensboro.
Kauffman led Elizabethtown to national runner-up finishes in 1983 and 1984, before her 1988-89 Blue Jays capped a decade of unparalleled success for the program with its second NCAA Division III Championship in 1989.
From 1979-89, Elizabethtown
recorded an astounding 237-39 record, which included nine seasons of 20 wins or more, two national titles, five MAC Championships and seven NCAA tournament appearances.
All 22 1,000-point scorers in E-town women's basketball history were coached by Kauffman
, as were seven All-Americans.
Coaching honors have poured in from organizations throughout the years, but Kauffman
noted that a few stand out above the rest.
was one of 13 individuals to receive a Centennial Award from Elizabethtown College
, cementing her
influential status on the institution.
also received the George W. Kirchner Memorial Award following the 1996-97 season.
was just the second woman to have the award, given annually by the Lancaster County Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association
, bestowed upon her
"I'm so grateful for all those people I've gotten to coach or teach," said Kauffman