Chris Kielsmeier enters his first season at the helm of the Cleveland State women’s basketball program during the 2018-19 season, joining the Vikings as the seventh head coach in program history. Kielsmeier comes to Cleveland State with 19 years of coaching experience.
Kielsmeier was previously the head coach at Division II Wayne State College, where he spent 10 seasons with the Wildcats. Kielsmeier left Wayne State as the all-time winningest coach in program history with a career record of 237-72, setting his winning percentage at 76.5%.
Under Kielsmeier, the Wildcats captured a pair of NSIC Tournament Championships (2010, 2012), while also winning four NSIC Regular Season crowns (2011, 2012, 2014, and 2015). Wayne State made five appearances in the NCAA Tournament during Kielsmeier’s tenure, earning postseason bids during 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, and 2015.
WSC earned national rankings multiple times throughout Kielsmeier’s career, including a #4 USA Today/ ESPN Final National ranking in 2011-12 – the same year the Lady Wildcats posted a program-best 32-3 record.
During his tenure in Nebraska, Kielsmeier was named the 2010 and 2012 NSIC Coach of the Year, and also earned Region 7 WBCA Coach of Year accolades during 2012.
He mentored 19 NSIC All-Conference selections, 36 All-Academic honorees, two WBCA All-Americans, and the 2012 Women’s Division II Bulletin National Player of the Year. Kielsmeier was responsible for coaching the first All-Americans in WSC history.
Prior to his time at Wayne State, Kielsmeier spent nine years at Division III Howard Payne University in Brownwood, Texas. He spent one season as an assistant, before taking over as the head coach in 2000. During his career, he became the all-time winningest coach at HPU, obtaining a career record of 179-44 (.802).
Coach Kielsmeier led the Lady Jackets to three ASC Conference Championships during the 2004-05, 2006-07, and 2007-08 seasons. Under Kielsmeier HPU made four NCAA appearances, including an NCAA National Championship following the 2007-08 season, capping off a perfect 33-0 record. HPU was annually ranked in the top-25 during Kielsmeier’s career, and even earned a #1 ranking in the USA Today/ ESPN Final National ranking in 2008.
Through 10 years with the Lady Jackets Kielsmeier mentored 38 ASC All-Conference selections and 40 All-Academic honorees. For his efforts, he was a three-time ASC Coach of the Year, two-time WBCA South Region Coach of the Year, and in 2007-08 was named the WBCA National Coach of the Year.
Kielsmeier got his start in coaching at Iowa State, serving as an intern with the women’s basketball program.
Kielsmeier is an active member of the WBCA Board of Directors and Executive Committee.
A native of Iowa, Coach Kielsmeier graduated from Iowa State University in 1999, earning his bachelors of science in sports management.