June 1, 2009
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State women's basketball head coach Suzy Merchant announced today changes to her coaching staff for the 2009-10 season. Shane Clipfell has been elevated to Associate Head Coach, while Julie Dombroski earned a promotion to Director of Basketball Operations and Technology and Monique Govan is now the Coordinator of Basketball Operations. In addition, Merchant has also added Tempie Brown to her staff as an assistant coach and Rick Albro will return for his third season with the Spartans.
Clipfell has been an assistant coach for Merchant since 1998, dating back to their days at Eastern Michigan, including the past two seasons at Michigan State. Clipfell has been instrumental to the Spartans' success of late, advancing to the 2009 NCAA Sweet 16 and 2008 WNIT Championship game. The Spartans finished second in the Big Ten at 13-5 last season, the second most conference wins in program history.
"Shane's dedication and commitment to the game of women's basketball, passion for recruiting, as well as on-the-court coaching, makes him deserving of this promotion," said Merchant.
Dombroski, a four-year letterwinner for the Spartans from 2001-04, and Govan have been part of the Michigan State staff for the past two seasons, acting as the Director of Basketball Operations and Video Coordinator, respectively.
"Julie and Monique are two talented and gifted young women in our profession," said Merchant. "The opportunity for promotion and advancement is important, and this change will allow them to get closer to their ultimate goals. Julie has been a great asset to our program on the operations side, and this change will allow her to become more involved daily with basketball.
"Monique has been an invaluable part of the Spartan program the past two seasons as video coordinator. She clearly deserves the opportunity for more responsibility and visibility. Monique is a rising star in our profession."
Brown comes to East Lansing after spending last season as an assistant coach at the University of Memphis. Prior to Memphis, Brown also coached at Northwestern (2004-08), Lehigh (2002-04), under Merchant at Eastern Michigan (2000-02) and Saginaw Valley State (2000). While at Northwestern, her recruiting expertise helped secure the No. 18 recruiting class in the country in 2007, including two-time All-Big Ten selection Amy Jaeschke. A four-year letterwinner and two-year captain at the University of Michigan (1987-90), she ranks among the program's top-15 scorers with 1,142 points, in addition to sitting in the top-20 in career assists and steals. Brown graduated from Michigan in 1990 with a degree in kinesiology, and later finished her master's degree in exercise physiology in 1992. She has also pursued course work in the doctorate program at Michigan State. Brown will fill the position formally held by Evelyn Thompson who served two years on Merchant's staff and has left the program to pursue other opportunities.
"We are extremely excited to bring Tempie Brown on board," said Merchant. "Tempie will be a tremendous asset to the program in regards to recruiting and coaching guard play. She has an outstanding basketball mind and has high-level recruiting contacts in the Midwest, including Chicago where we hope to continue our success over the past couple years with Spartans that include Brittney Thomas, Lykendra Johnson and Kelsey Smith. We have worked together in the past at Eastern Michigan and I am looking forward to having her part of the Spartan family."
The excitement surrounding last season's run to the Sweet 16 continues into the summer for Merchant and the Spartan program, as she will spend part of the summer as an assistant coach for the USA Basketball World University Games team in Belgrade, Serbia on July 1-11. MSU, who returns 12 of the 13 letterwinners, look to build upon the success from this past season and continue to move to the program to the next level.