Blugold Hall of Fame
Janel Kempen (West)
Janel Kempen West played on the first Blugold women's basketball team to advance to NCAA post-season play and still rates as one of the school's best all-around players, ranking among the top seven in scoring, rebounding and assists.
Kempen played the final season under legendary coach Sandy Schumacher, one year for interim coach Lisa Herb and for the first season of current coach Lisa Stone. She earned team MVP honors as a sophomore, was the team Best Defense and Blue Collar award winner as a junior and captured the team Hustle Award and Blugold Award as a senior when she was also named to the All-Conference first team.
The Blugolds were 24-4 during her senior season and advanced to the Elite Eight round of the NCAA tournament. West was named to the All-Great Lakes Regional Team that year as the Blugolds beat Alma, Michigan and UW-River Falls in the first two games of the tournament.
A three-year team captain who played 100 career games, West scored 1,138 points with 693 rebounds and 291 assists. She was a member of the third class of Super Six winners in 1989.
After graduating in 1990 with a degree in mathematics and physical education, she coached one year at Osseo-Fairchild High School where she achieved a 14-9 season record. She returned to UW-Eau Claire in 1991 to pursue her master's degree in education and professional development and served as Stone's assistant for two years while completing her degree.
The past three years, she has taught and coached at New Auburn High School. She has produced a 40-23 record as the girls basketball coach and guided the team to its first conference championship in school hisstory.
She and her husband Loren have one daughter, Emma who is 16 months old.