Kids Club Coaches Profiles

Jenny Rowland, Gymnastics Assistant Coach

Rowland joins the Auburn staff after spending the last four years as a gymnastics judge on the national and international level. Rowland spent 2001 - 2006 as a women's assistant coach at the University of Oklahoma where she coached the 2004 Big XII Champions, three-time team NCAA qualifiers (2004-2006) and three Big XII Gymnasts of the Year. As a gymnast, Rowland was a USA National Team member from 1985 - 1990, and was on the 1989 USA World Championship Team. She competed collegiately at Arizona State University, where she was an uneven bar All-American in 1993.

What is the most important character trait for a gymnast to possess? Love/passion for the sport of gymnastics.

What are your feelings about the upcoming season? I feel that we are going to have a very successful season. The girls possess the desire and willingness to adapt to the program's changes while having extremely positive attitudes. I feel that we are already successful!

What is your favorite part about coaching at Auburn thus far? My favorite part about coaching is knowing that I am helping the athletes attain their collegiate goals.

Jeff Shaffer, Diving Head Coach

Coach Shaffer has been developing and guiding divers across the country to great accomplishments throughout their careers in the last 30 years. He came to Auburn almost 12 years ago as one of the most respected coaches in the diving community and has improved the Auburn diving program in Olympic-size proportions.

What is the most important character skill/trait for a diver to have? As a diver, it is important to be somewhat fearless. They have to be strong, but also quick with some artistic ability. Diving coaches find that most of the divers that are successful in their career have had some gymnastics background.

What do you like best about coaching at Auburn? What I enjoy best is the opportunity to bring young men and women into both the program and university. I enjoy bringing them here to contribute to the overall team success as we improve and challenge them individually to reach their fullest potential.

What is your favorite place to eat in Auburn? The Amsterdam Cafe.

Karen Hoppa, Soccer Head Coach

For the past 11 years, Auburn Head Soccer Coach Karen Hoppa has ruled the sidelines on the pitch at Auburn. Owning a 125-85-19 (.587) mark at Auburn and a career record of 189-129-28 (.587) in 17 seasons, she is the winningest coach in the Southeastern Conference's Western Division since taking over at Auburn.

What is the most important trait you look for in your athletes? Character/work ethic.

What is your favorite part of being at Auburn? The people that create such a great family environment.

What advice would you give to young soccer players? Keep your grades up.

Reality TV or Sitcom? Friends.

Last movie you rented? Eclipse from the Twilight series.

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