Amber Lemke, UW-Whitewater women’s bowling coach since August 2007, has resigned. She has taken the head coaching position at Stephen F. Austin University, a Division I school located in Nacogdoches, Texas.
“I had a great experience working at Whitewater, and am looking forward to being able to use my experience that I gained at UW-W to help me be successful in my new position at SFA,” Lemke said. “Coaching here the past four years has brought lots of success for the bowling team, and they are going to do great things in the future. I am very excited to have been offered the head coaching job at Stephen F. Austin and look forward to new challenges. It is a great opportunity for me to do what I love and share my passion for and dedication to bowling with a group of talented student-athletes,” added Lemke.
Lemke guided the Warhawks to United States Bowling Congress collegiate championship appearances in 2010 and 2011, where the Warhawks advanced to the second round. Just sixteen teams earn a spot in the national tourney. UW-W qualified through sectional play, where the team also placed fifth in 2009, one spot away from qualifying for another national meet. In her tenure, Lemke helped the Warhawks roll the top seven team Baker games in school history. Five members of Lemke’s 2009-’10 team earned National Tenpin Coaches Association All-Academic honors.
“Amber started her coaching career as a young, ambitious and energetic professional,” UW-W director of athletics Paul Plinske said. “In a short period of time, she elevated the women’s bowling program to great heights, both athletically and academically. Her teams represented our university well while traveling all over the country to compete against Division I, II and III institutions. What is most special to me is the caliber of student-athlete that Amber brought to UW-Whitewater. Her teams attained above a 3.3 grade point average and earned the highest grade point average in the athletic department,” Plinske noted.
“We are very pleased for her and the opportunity she has to be the head coach at Stephen F. Austin. She is leaving our program in outstanding shape and we will move quickly to find a successor. We are grateful to Amber and her husband, Steve, for their service to UW-Whitewater. We wish them both the very best,” said Plinske.
Amber Lemke (then Amber Griffin) was a freshman when UW-W added women’s bowling as a varsity, intercollegiate sport for the 2002-2003 school year. She helped get the program off and running, earning four varsity letters. The Warhawks won Wisconsin Collegiate Bowling Conference championships in 2003, 2004, and 2006. She had a 177.7 average her senior year when she earned NCTA honorable mention All-America honors, following a 167.0 junior year.
In the classroom at UW-W Lemke graduated cum laude with a degree in middle childhood/early adolescence education with a coaching minor. She completed work on a master’s degree this spring.
Lemke was also with the program for the 2006-2007 school year, serving as an assistant coach.
Away from the UW-W team, Lemke attended the Junior Gold National Championship in 2004, 2005 and 2006. During the 2005-2006 school year she served as an assistant coach for the Kenosha high school girls team that won the USBC state title.
A search to replace Lemke will begin immediately. Plinske hopes to have a head coach named by mid August.