The Kansas Basketball Coaches Association has named long time Abilene basketball coach Tim Klein the Middle School Basketball Coach of the Year for 2020.
Klein currently coaches eighth grade at Abilene Middle School and has been in Abilene for 13 years. He has been teaching and coaching for 35 years total. Additionally he is the math resource teacher at Abilene High School.
Klein has a Masters Degree in Special Education from Kansas State University and he has taught and coached at Alma, Wamego, Hoxie and Valley Heights before coming to Abilene.
Coach Klein has been the head coach of the Longhorns for six seasons with a record of 182-36 for a winning percentage of 83.4%. Before taking the middle school coaching position, Klein spent seven years with Terry Taylor at the Abilene High School coaching the freshmen and junior varsity teams.
The Longhorns finished the current season with an 18-0 record and its fourth North Central Kansas League title. The Longhorns have won the conference in three consecutive years.
“This group was a special group,” Klein said of his current team. “But the honor isn’t just about this team, it’s about all the athletes that I have coached before and how they have turned into outstanding young men. They came in with goals and met those goals. This group played as a team as a team should play
“This year we had four to six players that averaged five to nine points per game. The team averaged six assists and 13.5 steals and they only had 13 turnovers per game. The kids averaged 49 points per game offensively while only allowing 23 points per game. Coach Troy Palenske and myself are very proud to have had the opportunity to have coached them and watch them in the upcoming years.”
Coach Klein has a life long passion for sports programs and he has been instrumental in developing community programs for children of all ages. During his coaching tenure he has guided four high school teams to state appearances. Twice as head coach at Hoxie in 2001 and 2002 and twice as assistant coach of the Cowboys in 2011 and 2012.
Klein has been a certified American Sport Education instructor for Rule 10 coaches for Kansas High School Activities Association and Smoky Hills Ed Center in Salina since 1993. He has served as a state board member of Special Olympics of Kansas from 2010 to 2020. He has been a Kansas Basketball Coaches Association member since 1987 and a Kansas Coaching Association member since 1985.
Klein and his wife Norene, a special needs pre-school teacher with CKIE, live in Abilene and have two children and three grandchildren.