Director of Athletics John P. Reardon Jr. "60 said Monday afternoon that he has dismissed Carole A. Kleinfelder as coach of the Harvard women's basketball team.
Although Reardon declined to say that Kleinfelder was fired, he said. "I'm simply not reappointing her on basketball...We are going to have a new coach. As of today, we are advertising for the job."
Reardon refused to give the specific reason for releasing Kleinfelder. "All personnel matters are not discussed publically. It is between the person and myself," he said.
Kleinfelder's status as the coach of the Harvard women's lacrosse team remains uncertain. "She and I still have to work that out together," Reardon said. "I don't know [if she will be the lacrosse coach next year], because I don't know what she would like to do."
Kleinfelder Monday declined to comment on the issue.
Emphasizing that he is not disappointed with Kleinfelder's performance as lacrosse coach, Reardon said, "I feel good about the lacrosse program...I'm very enthusiastic about how the season has been going."
Recognized as one of the best lacrosse coaches in the country. Kleinfelder has formed a squad which boasts a 51-27-1 record over the last three-and-a-half campaigns. Last year, Kleinfelder guided the laxwomen to an Ivy League championship.
Kleinfelder--a 1965 graduate of West Chester (Pa.) State College--has directed the women's basketball team since 1976, compiling a 72-76 overall record. But the cagers--after the 1980-81, 8-18 showing--finished this past season with a 4-21 mark.
Rumors have been circulating throughout the Harvard basketball community for the past few months concerning Kleinfelder's future. But Monday's announcement was the first public action Reardon has taken.
"Everything was hush, hush," said one member of the basketball team asked not to be identified. Every player contacted yesterday lauded the decision to dismiss Kleinfelder as a good and necessary one.
Since the end of the season. Reardon and basketball team members, individually and in groups--met several times to discuss their "obvious" dissatisfaction with the coaching, one teammate said.
According to another player, who asked not to be identified, during one of the meetings "he [Reardon] said that the problem would be taken care of," adding that everyone "assumed that the program was going to change, which meant a change in every aspect."
During the season, players often privately expressed their dissatisfaction with Kleinfelder's coaching ability, strategy on the basketball court and attitudes towards some of the players.
But team members never collectively confronted Kleinfelder with its criticisms, co-captain Pat Home said yesterday Instead, the players discussed their resentment among themselves.
"The program wasn't going anywhere, and we needed a change." Horne said. "For the program to go somewhere, something had to happen."
Another player, who asked not to be identified, called Kleinfelder's dismissal "definitely the best thing for the program. You definitely want to see people who can motivate [players], who can use them to the best of their ability and get the best out of their abilities. As the season progressed the respect wasn't there."
"Satisfaction doesn't have to come out of a tremendous record," the player added
Another player confirmed that several members of the team would not have returned if Kleinfelder retained her post.
But most of the hoopsters felt that the squad's poor showing resulted from more than just Kleinfelder's coaching
"It was a combination of many things for us. It wasn't just the coaching. [We had] a lack of height and lost a lot of close games," Horne said.
I hope people on the team can separate Carole the coach and Carole the person, and realize that she is nice, a human being," junior Franesa Hall said yesterday.
A committee partially composed of at least one teammate and members of the standing committee on Athletics will choose the next shipper of the team, Reardon said.