- E. Ross Bartley Award (2012)
- Presenter: Fred Glass
Many characteristics make Kit Klingelhoffer a consummate Indiana University man, not the least of which is that there are very few people on the planet who more fervently want to beat Purdue. But if passion for IU has fueled Klingelhoffer’s 42-year tenure in the school’s athletic administration and media relations office, so has professionalism.
Klingelhoffer began as Tom Miller’s assistant in the sports information department, and has always felt very fortunate in how he acquired that job. When Klingelhoffer was a sophomore at IU, people in his home town of Aurora decided to form a Dearborn County IU alumni association. His mom and dad, both alums, decided to attend the organizational meeting. The guest speaker was Aurora native Miller, who had known the Klingelhoffers in high school. They reintroduced themselves to Miller and mentioned their son was at IU and a big fan of athletics. Miller responded that he hired a student assistant every year, and would their son be interested? After Klingelhoffer became Miller’s student assistant, Miller’s only full-time assistant got the head SID job at Western Michigan. The replacement Miller hired, a Californian, wasn’t really happy in Bloomington, but Miller recognized a kindred spirit in Klingelhoffer. Though Klingelhoffer still had a semester of school to finish, Miller hired him full-time and helped make it work. For Klingelhoffer, it was a dream job from the start.
As a Sports Information Director and as an Assistant Athletic Director for Event Management, he truly saw it all. He helped chronicle the careers of Doc Counsilman, Hobie Billingsley, Mark Spitz, Jerry Yeagley, Bob Knight, Bill Mallory, and the litany of great teams and student-athletes over that period of time. Klingelhoffer has been involved with three NCAA Championship basketball teams, seven NCAA Championship soccer teams, multiple Olympic medalists, most of the bowl teams in IU football history, and in the development of women’s varsity sports at IU. Along with Bob Hammel, he wrote the definitive history of IU Athletics called “Glory of Old IU”. He has also overseen the IU Athletics Hall of Fame and arranged the displays in the Henke Hall of Champions and in Cook Hall’s Legacy Court.
For Klingelhoffer, it was the people who mattered. “I liked the job I had here, in media relations and in management,” Klingelhoffer has said, “but even if you like what you do, if you don’t like the people it’s not a very good job. First and foremost, for me, are the people I’ve had the privilege to associate with in my 42 years here. It’s been great. Sure, there were days I’d probably have rather been out on the golf course, but I never dreaded coming to work one day. I feel so blessed to feel that way, because I know not everybody can feel that way about their job. I’ve been incredibly lucky. I was around great people, and it was at my school, and it was a perfect fit for me.”
It might not have worked out for him, in other words, at Purdue.