Former player will lead Warhawk football

For audio interview, click here.

(Published Jan. 4, 2007, 11:38 a.m.)

Former UW-Whitewater standout quarterback and assistant coach Lance Leipold is the new Warhawk football coach.

UW-Whitewater Chancellor Martha Saunders and Director of Athletics Paul Plinske introduced Leipold at a press conference in the Williams Center Wednesday.

Leipold, a quarterback for the Warhawks in the mid-1980s and former Warhawk assistant coach, was associate head coach and offensive coordinator for the University of Nebraska-Omaha since 2004.

"I am pleased that Lance Leipold has decided to return to UW-Whitewater as the Warhawk's new head football coach," Saunders said. "Coach Leipold brings a wealth of experience to the position along with a clear understanding of the long, proud history of Whitewater football.

I am confident he will continue the legacy of producing winning teams while also making sure his scholar/athletes reach the ultimate goal of graduation."

"This is home," Leipold said. "This is a place where I have a lot of fond memories, a place where I was able to obtain my bachelor's and my master's degree, and a place where I was able to begin my coaching career. That opportunity in itself was very attractive for me and my family, and anyone who knows Division III football, and college football as a whole, knows that this is one of the premier jobs in college football, especially at the Division III level."

"Lance Leipold brings a unique dynamic to the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, its athletic department and Warhawk football," Plinske said. "Not only will his temperament and background help him funnel the gifts and abilities of a highly successful program, but they will bring us new ideas and a different perspective."

"There is no doubt that Lance has a strong mind for the game of football," Plinske said. "He also has fervor for people that will endear him to our community. We are excited to begin the next chapter of Warhawk football with Lance Leipold as our next head coach."

UW-Whitewater won 28 out of 30 games in the last two years. The Warhawks are undefeated in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, undefeated in regular season play and advanced to the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III championship game, the Amos Alonzo Stagg Bowl.

"The bar has been raised here the last couple of years." Leipold said. "No matter what those last couple of seasons have been, my goal within the program is that we improve daily. We try to get better every day in every little thing that we do, then those other things will take care of themselves. We have to start with the immediate goal of winning the conference championship, being a consistent playoff participant, and then winning that national championship."

"My goal is to be the third-best football program in this state year in and year out," Leipold added. "One plays on Sunday in Lambeau, one plays in Camp Randall and the third plays in Perkins Stadium."

Leipold, of Jefferson, played four years for the Warhawks (1983-1986). The 1984 team won the WIAC title, and the teams he played on were a combined 20-10-2.

He is still second all-time in the Warhawk record books for career pass attempts (647), third in yards (4277), fifth in completions (303) and tied for ninth with 27 touchdowns.

He is also among the top 10 in those same categories in the UW-W records for a single season, all in his junior year in 1985. In a game against UW-River Falls in 1985 Leipold completed 37-57 for 494 yards -- all among the top 20 individual games in WIAC history. He was the team MVP in 1986, and was elected to the UW-W Athletics Hall of Fame in 2003.

Leipold's coaching career began where he played, at UW-W. He coached quarterbacks in 1987 and wide receivers in 1988, helping both teams win WIAC (then WSUC) championships. After one year at Doane College in Nebraska, he returned to UW-W in 1990 to coach and work on a master's degree. He helped the Warhawks win another WIAC title while serving as Berezowitz's offensive coordinator. Leipold moved on to the University of Wisconsin-Madison for the 1991, '92 and '93 seasons, serving as a graduate assistant all three years, he worked with the offense.

The 1993 Badgers won the Big Ten and the Rose Bowl, going 10-1-1. His first stint at Division II Nebraska-Omaha covered 1994-2000, where he was part of a staff that turned UNO from a 1-10 team (1994) to North Central Conference champions in 1996, 1998 and 2000. He was UNO's offensive coordinator in 2000. He moved to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 2001, serving as an administrative assistant the same year Cornhuskers won the national championship.

In 2002 and 2003 Nebraska also went to bowl games with Leipold as a member of the staff. He returned to UN-Omaha in 2004 as the associate head coach and offensive coordinator, where he contributed to three consecutive 8-3 seasons and three straight conference championships.

Leipold takes over for his former coach Bob Berezowitz. Berezowitz announced his retirement before the 2006 season, ending a 22-year career. That span included 158 wins, third most in the history of the WIAC, a .680 winning percentage, nine conference championships and five NCAA III playoff appearances. Berezowitz, also an instructor in health, physical education, recreation and coaching and the outdoor facilities coordinator at UW-W, will continue those duties until he retires in June.

Leipold and his wife Kelly have a 6-year old daughter, Lindsey, and a son, Landon, who was born in July.



For additional information

Lance Leipold, UW-W football coach, (262) 472-1453

Dr. Martha Saunders, UW-W chancellor, (262) 472-1918

Dr. Paul Plinske, UW-W director of athletics, (262) 472-1543

Tom Fick, sports information director, (262) 472-1147

UW-W football site:



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