University of Georgia Athletics Director Greg McGarity announced on Wednesday that Lizzy Stemke has been hired as the new University of Georgia volleyball coach.
Stemke is the sixth head volleyball coach at UGA since the program came to Georgia in 1978. She has been an assistant coach at the University of Nebraska for the last four years, and was an All-American student-athlete at the University of Wisconsin, as well as a U.S. National Team member.
“Our search committee focused on a group of candidates who were exceptional student-athletes, worked for programs competing for national championships, and were mentored by head coaches who are considered the finest in college volleyball,” McGarity said on www.georgiadogs.com. “Our pool of candidates was exceptional, and Lizzy met and exceeded the expectations we had established as a committee to lead our volleyball program.”
At UN, Stemke served as the co-recruiting coordinator, offensive coordinator, setter trainer, video coordinator, academic and community involvement liaison, and she assisted with summer camps and coaching clinics. She was named as one of the nation’s top-10 assistant coaches by Volleyball Magazine in the Feb. 2010 issue. Nebraska head women’s volleyball coach John Cook praised the choice of Stemke for the head coaching position at UGA.
“Georgia volleyball is a sleeping giant and Lizzy is the perfect coach to awaken the volleyball program,” said Cook. “Coach Stemke will not only build a great team of student-athletes, she will create an excitement and culture for Georgia volleyball in the Athens community.”
Coach Stemke and her husband, Kevin, recently welcomed their first child, Kerrigan Jane, on Dec. 7. Like Coach Stemke, Kevin was a student-athlete at the University of Wisconsin. He played football, and was the inaugural winner of the Ray Guy Award in 2000, now given annually to the nation’s top punter. He then played in the NFL, from 2001-04, including time with the Oakland Raiders in 2002 and the St. Louis Rams in 2004. The family is welcomed to the University of Georgia athletics program, and Coach Stemke appears to have her Dawg spirit flowing already:
“I am thrilled and honored to accept the position as the Head Volleyball Coach at The University of Georgia. I would like to thank Greg McGarity and his staff for this fantastic opportunity. Throughout this process I have been immensely impressed and truly inspired by the support and commitment that the Bulldog Athletic Department has shown for the volleyball program and its future. I am looking forward to being a part of the great tradition of athletics at The University of Georgia. Go Dawgs!”