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Jeff Kolpack, Published August 01 2013

Popular administrative assistant retires from NDSU

FARGO ­– It was hard to peg the over-under on the number of tears Glenda Klein was going to shed on Thursday. Vegas didn’t want to touch those odds, and neither did she.

“I think I’m already over,” she said.

That was before 10 a.m.

No, it wasn’t an easy day for the North Dakota State athletic department administrative assistant, whose main contribution was more than handling paperwork.

Case in point came when the football program moved its entire operation to the Fargodome several years ago. Still, the players made it a point to walk over to Klein’s desk in the Bison Sports Arena sports information office for a “Good Luck Friday” chat.

Why? She pointed to her heart.

Bison senior linebacker Grant Olson once said Glenda should teach a class on caring.

Keep in mind it was one thing for players to stop by when the locker room was several steps away. It’s another to make the trek from the dome.

“It just seemed like the older guys would bring the younger guys in,” Klein said. “I just think it got passed on. The older guys say this is what we do.”

She started at NDSU in 1986 and moved to the athletic office in 1989. She’s taking a “rule of 85” early retirement, a notice that took almost everybody in and out of the building by surprise.

Her connection with student-athletes was probably more motherly than anything. If they had a problem or a question that required confidentiality, there was never a question who to go to.

“If they didn’t know what to do, you try and make it comfortable for them to ask that question,” Klein said. “Total confidence. If someone tells me something, it stays there.”

She’ll still be going to games. Maybe somehow there will still be a “Good Luck Friday” vibe.

Football practice starts Saturday, and already the team is down a key player.

Forum reporter Jeff Kolpack can be reached at (701) 241-5546. Kolpack’s NDSU media blog can be found at www.areavoices.com/bisonmedia