Rocky Mountain College’s new Athletic Director is promising big things. Jim Klemann was hired as Rocky’s Athletic Director last year and immediately began making improvements by starting with the question, “How can we positively impact the student-athlete experience?”
This question has driven him to begin planning changes within the athletic department, starting with infrastructure and how the department itself is designed. Klemenn has added two new positions, in the year that he has been at Rocky including the Athletics Operations Coordinator position and Sports Information and Media Coordinator Coordination. With these two positions, Klemenn hopes that communication between student-athletes and the athletic department will be easier and more efficient.
Klemenn is also working on a fundraising plan. He wants a more sustainable long-term fundraising plan so the school and athletic department can raise money that can directly impact the student-athletes.
The improvements don’t stop at that. Already students and visitors can see new additions, including championship banners in the Big Gym that show the successes of all the Rocky teams and brand-new media tables for games. At the first home football game on September 3, fans were able to experience the new professional speaker system at Herb-Clint Field and the new banner that wraps around the gates. The athletic department also worked on a new ticketing system that allows fans to buy tickets digitally ahead of time and offers the option of season tickets to all Rocky games.
Communication is key for Klemenn, and one of the biggest things he has added to Rocky is the Teambuldr app. The app allows student-athletes, coaches, trainers, and other people in the athletic department to communicate. He explains that it is very hard to communicate with 400+ students, but with this app workouts and messages can be sent easily and efficiently to the teams who need them.
Klemann’s background has prepared him for this role. As a Montana native, he grew up in Belgrade but moved out to attend the University of Jamestown in North Dakota where he played baseball. His first experience coaching was also at Jamestown where he helped coach baseball for seven years before moving to Billings for a year to coach the professional baseball team, the Mustangs.
After a few years of coaching, Klemann decided to change directions and went back to Jamestown where he was hired as the Director of Transfer Enrollment. His positions switched again when Klemenn was moved to a more development role. He was responsible for the school’s athletic fundraising and Jamestown’s annual fund. His final transfer at Jamestown was to the role of Assistant Athletic Director in charge of development and operations. He was involved with building two new facilities at Jamestown, including a new training room, weight room, and locker room, then a new football stadium with help from donors at Jamestown.
When it comes to Rocky, Klemenn saw it as a place where there was an opportunity to grow. He acknowledged Rocky’s past successes and is ready to take it to the next level. Overall, Klemenn has one goal: to be the best NAIA school in the division. But that comes with hard work and dedication. His motto is BEARS, which stands for Believe, Excellence, Accountability, Relentless Pursuit, and Servant Leadership. Klemenn believes these things are the key to being successful and making the greatest impact in the world as he brings in this new era of Rocky athletics.
Things to look forward to this weekend and in the upcoming weeks from the Athletic Department:
Rocky is hosting a volleyball tournament September 15-17. Rocky is scheduled to play Friday night at 5:00 pm and two games on Saturday at 1:00 and 5:00 in Fortin. Make sure to go and cheer on your Battlin’ Bears!
September 24 is the Homecoming football game and the Athletic Department has some big plans, including a fly-over from the National Guard.
Visit the Battlin’ Bears website and Instagram page for more information on games and events within the athletic department