Lax Coach Mulls Yale Offer

Kleinfelder, Advocate for Women's Sports, May Leave

Women's lacrosse Coach Carole Kleinfelder, who led her team to its third NCAA Final Four in the last four seasons, may leave Harvard to accept the same post at Yale University.

Officials at Yale confirmed that the school had offered the job to Kleinfelder, but referred other questions to Yale's athletic director who did not return a phone call.

Kleinfelder is arguably the University's most successful coach, male or female. If Kleinfelder leaves Harvard, her absence will deal a significant blow to the lacrosse program, which won the national championship in 1990.

A Kleinfelder departure would also mean the loss of an outspoken advocate for greater support of Harvard's women's teams. She has publicly criticized the treatment and funding of women's athletics by the Department of Athletics.

Lacrosse Co-Captain Elizabeth K. Berkery '93 said yesterday that Kleinfelder had informed the team about her interview at Yale and the job offer.


"She did get offered the job at Yale," Berkery said. "She notified the team after so that we wouldn't hear it from other people."

Reached Sunday in Maine Kleinfelder declined to comment.

It has been, at times, a trying year for Kleinfelder. A day after she criticized the department's treatment of women's athletics in a December Crimson article, her truck tires were slashed in the parking lot of the Gordon Indoor Track and Tennis Center.

Both the coach and Dean of Students Archie C. Epps III said at the time they suspected the act was committed in retaliation for her comments, but the perpetrator was never found.

Kleinfelder's team lost to Virginia in overtime, 11-10, in the national semifinals this year. The Crimson finished with a record of 13-3 and was co-champion of the Ivy League.

In 1992, the team advanced to the finals, where it lost to Maryland, also in overtime.

Yale's coach of eight years, Francesca Den Hartog, quit this spring to take the job at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Director of Athletics William J. Cleary '56 did not return a phone call yesterday