While there were a number of candidates bidding for the job, Reed athletic director Ron Coombs said it was Klapp’s enthusiasm that separated him from others.
“I think the thing that stood out the most was his passion,” Coombs said. “He has over 20 years of experience as a high school wrestler, college wrestler and as a coach in this area. So to be honest, it was his passion and that experience that really set him apart.
“I’m just excited to see the passion that he is going to bring. He’s already making plans about what our program is going to look like at Reed and how that is going to be structured. He has a program already up and running as far as a youth program goes. He wants to build a solid program and with his passion for the sport and his passion to teach kids, I think it’s really going to speak volumes for Reed.”
Klapp has 15 years of coaching under his belt, with his most recent experience coming as a coach at O’Brien and Depoali middle schools, as well as a club team. Although the RHS wrestling season is over six months away, Klapp is eager to get started with the Raiders.
“First thing for me will be getting a lay of the land and figuring out where Reed has been and where it’s headed,” Klapp said. “Obviously Reed has been successful with Spencer Empey and others the last few years. So there’s a lot of stuff going right there. So I don’t want to go in and change anything that is working. I want to figure that out.”
One area that the new coach wants to focus on is revitalizing the youth program around Reed.
“I know that Reed’s lost a youth program the last couple years, and obviously I have experience there so I want to bring that back,” he said. “I think one of the things that I’ve been really successful at is building a program in terms of numbers, both at the club and the middle school level just making sure we get a lot of kids out. Making sure we get that youth involvement back at Reed is a top priority so it’s not just out at Spanish Springs where it has been for the past years.
“We have to figure out a way to make sure we have the numbers we need in the room so we can develop a strong program. I think that will help top to bottom making the program successful. It’s been really strong at the highest level, so we want to fill in the rest of the ranks and continue the success.”
Klapp said with the help surrounding the Reed program, he believes the Raiders will be able to achieve their goals.
“Since I found out I had this position, there’s been so many folks who have been supportive and helpful,” he said. “There is a lot of support around the program. There are a lot of people interested and I think there’s a lot of excitement about the Reed program and a lot of belief in its potential. It’s neat to know that people have a desire in helping me exercise that. I’m just excited about how invested everybody is and how fired up everybody is about this.”