Clipfell has spent the last 14 seasons on Coach Merchant's staffs at MSU and EMU.
Clipfell coordinates all of Michigan State's recruiting efforts, including organizing official, unofficial, off-campus and home visits. In addition, he focuses on the team's offensive game preparation and in-game adjustments, while being instrumental in the individual skill development of the Spartan perimeter players. With the other two assistants, Clipfell scouts the MSU opponents and helps to implement the Spartans' game plans.
Clipfell spent nine seasons with head coach Suzy Merchant at Eastern Michigan, and was the acting head coach for most of the 2006-07 season when Merchant was on maternity leave.
Along with Merchant, Clipfell joined the EMU staff in 1998-99, and the two have been coaching together ever since. Clipfell helped build the Eagles into one of the top programs in the Mid-American Conference. Eastern Michigan compiled a record of 160-103 (.608) during Merchant and Clipfell's tenure, including three 20-win seasons, three postseason appearances and two Mid-American Conference West Division titles.
While serving as the acting head coach at EMU for a majority of the 2006-07 season, he guided the Eagles to a 16-13 overall record and a 10-6 finish in the MAC, good for second place in the West Division. Individually, senior Sarah VanMetre became the first women's basketball player in program history to be named Academic All-American, senior Patrice McKinney was named MAC Defensive Player of the Year and freshman Alyssa Pittman was named the MAC Freshman of the Year.
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 High School.
After spending two seasons as an assistant at Glen Oaks Community College (1994-95), the 43-year-old Clipfell took over the program in 1996 and tallied a 58-35 overall record. His 1997 team finished with a No. 3 final ranking in the NJCAA after a 28-8 record and a fifth-place finish in the NJCAA Tournament. For his efforts, he landed numerous coaching awards, being named Coach of the Year for the Michigan Community College Athletic Association, the Western Conference, and the National District. In addition, he also earned the NJCAA Tournament Sportsmanship Award. Clipfell coached a NJCAA second-team All-America player in 1997, and a third-team All-America honoree in 1998.
While at Colon High School (1982-1998), Clipfell tallied a 185-65 career varsity head coaching record. His teams captured seven conference championships, three district championships, two regional championships and one Final Four appearance. He assisted in seven of his players receiving collegiate scholarships. He was named the area Coach of the Year by the Sturgis Journal in 1990 and 1992. He was also named the Basketball Coaches Association of Michigan Regional Coach of the Year in 1992, 1994 and 1995. In 2005, Clipfell was inducted into the Colon High School Athletic Hall of Fame for his achievements.
In 1996, Clipfell coached an all-star team for 10 days in Austria and then was selected to coach Athletes In Action for a summer tour in Bolivia in 1997. He also served as the co-director of Glen Oaks Community College summer basketball camps for three years.
Clipfell graduated from EMU in 2006 with a bachelor of science degree in communications. Clipfell and his wife, Connie, have two children: John (28) and Lauren (22).