Funeral services were held Saturday in the Woodland High School gymnasium for longtime Fairfax coach/educator Gary Klopp.
Coach K died March 7 in Tulsa at the age of 72.
The son of Edgar C. and Veeva M. Jordan Klopp, Gary Klopp was born May 19, 1943, in Ponca City. He grew up in Ponca City, where the coaching bug bit him while he was playing sports at East Junior High School. Klopp credited coach Bob McCartney for giving him the desire to become a coach. At PCHS, he lettered three years in both football and baseball.
Upon graduation, Klopp turned down a football/baseball scholarship from Emporia (Kan.) State in order to play at Northern Oklahoma College. After undergoing knee surgery, he transferred to the University of the Ozarks in Clarksville, Ark., where, during his fifth year, he was a student scout for football and baseball.
Klopp first coached in Texas and later served with programs in Kansas. In 1972, he received a master’s degree from Southwestern Oklahoma State College and he began coaching/teaching at Fairfax in 1975. Klopp served as Woodland’s athletic director until 2004. (His tenure in the Fairfax school system spanned 29 years.)
Coach K was a dedicated educator whose passion was to make a difference in young person’s life. His teams won five state championships in football and were semifinalists four times. He also led his squad to the 1986 baseball state championship.
Survivors include: two brothers — Darryl Klopp and wife Carole of Ponca City and Duane Klopp and wife Kim of Collinsville, and nephews Douglas Klopp (and his son, Drew), Dustin Klopp (and wife Bethany) and Devin Klopp, as well as a niece, Laura Klopp (and her daughter Jordan and son Jacob). Also surviving are his loyal cats and numerous adopted past students. Coach K was preceded in death by his parents.
Saturday morning’s services were officiated by the Revs. Russell Hughes and George Weston. Interment was in Ponca City’s Resthaven Memorial Park. Arrangements were under direction of Hunsaker-Wooten Funeral Home, Fairfax.
The family has requested donations be made in Coach K’s name to the Gary Klopp Testamentary Trust Scholarship Fund in care of SB Security Bank of Fairfax. Online guest book condolences may be done at www.hunsakerwootenfuneralhome.com