Briar Cliff athletic director Nic Nelson announced Monday that Will Lemke will be the next head coach of the women’s soccer program at Briar Cliff University. Lemke will be the sixth head coach in the history of Charger women’s soccer.
“Coach Lemke will be an outstanding addition to our coaching staff. His resume speaks for itself in terms of what he will bring to our women’s soccer program,” said Nelson. “His record of success at Viterbo and his experience as a Division I head coach are both very impressive. More importantly, he has the qualities we were looking for in the next coach to lead our women’s soccer program.”
Lemke was the head women’s soccer coach at Youngstown State University from 2009-2015 as he took a struggling division I program and turned it into a contender for the Horizon League Championship. He took the Penguins to their first Horizon League tournament appearance and guided the team to three-straight conference tournament appearances. Lemke finished his coaching career at YSU at the winningest coach in women’s soccer and his team held a team GPA of +3.5.
“I was blessed with several head coaching offers but I chose Briar Cliff because of the strong leadership vision presented by athletic director Nic Nelson and the positive connection I had with the university and the community,” stated Lemke. “I feel the soccer program has great potential and is uniquely poised to develop into a nationally ranked program. Briar Cliff is a unique learning community in a great city. I know we will be able to draw exceptional student athletes from all around the country to help take this program to the next level.”
Prior to his time at Youngstown State, Lemke was at Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin from 2001-2009. He was the first coach at Viterbo to lead the women’s soccer team to a winning season, a feat they then achieved for seven consecutive years. Lemke became the winningest coach in team history at 87-56-5 and took Viterbo to back-to-back conference championships in 2005 and 2006 with 2005 being the first-ever conference championship for the team. He was named the 2006 MMC Coach of the Year and his team was in the top 20 nationally in GPA. Lemke also established camp and league programs that involved over 600 participants per year.
Lemke’s coaching experience also included division II Winona State where he was associate head women’s soccer coach from 1998-2001. He helped the Warriors to their first NCAA DII top 20 rankings and he aided the Warriors in going 43-6-3 during his time. Winona won two conference championships and two tournament championships during his three years and his goalkeepers were voted all-conference all three years.
Lemke played collegiately at UW-Center Rock County from 1989-1991 and was a two-time all-conference and all-region selection. He was also voted team captain for two seasons. Lemke also played semi-professionally from 1992-2001 for the Lacrosse United Premiere Soccer Club.
Lemke and his Chargers will kickoff the 2017 season on August 26th at home against Jamestown. The matchup between the Chargers and Jimmies is slated for 1 p.m. at Faber Field.