Panther head coach presents award at Idaho State
After spending 14 years as the highly-successful volleyball coach at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Kathy Litzau has made the transition into athletic administration.
Litzau gave up her post as head coach to become an associate athletic director and senior woman administrator on May 21. In her new administrative role, see is overseeing a variety of sports as well as the areas of student-athlete support services and student welfare. She is also the liason between the athletic department and the campus and community while coordinating community relations projects for the department.
She said the timing for such a move was right.
"I feel like I am leaving the program in great hands and at a great stage. We have a tremendous group of current players, plus a lot of great players on the way, and (new head coach) Susie (Johnson) has played such an integral role in all of that," Litzau said. "It is a great opportunity for her to become a head coach at a place she has worked at for the last 10 years, and it is also neat that we can both continue to grow professionally at the same school. I'm confident Susie will take the program to new heights."
The numbers in the 14-year tenure of Litzau in Milwaukee are astounding. This year's regular season title was the fourth-straight for the Panthers, while UWM also won 20 matches for the ninth time in the last 10 years. Litzau's teams even found a way to increase their level of success in recent seasons. Over the last 10 campaigns, Litzau directed her team to a remarkable 118-14 record in league matches, which adds up to an astounding .894 winning percentage. UWM lost just five league regular season matches over the last four seasons. And, the Panthers have won 115 of their last 128 home matches and have seen only two league teams (Loyola and UW-Green Bay) beat them at the Klotsche Center since 1996.
Litzau was named Horizon League Coach of the Year seven times, including this past season, while leading the Panthers to eight Horizon League regular season titles. Her 131 Horizon League victories were by far the most of any active league coach. In 14 seasons in Milwaukee, Litzau led the Panthers to 271 wins after taking over a program that won just three matches the year prior to her arrival. She is one of just two UWM coaches in any sport in the school's Division I history to win at least 200 games.
"I certainly have mixed emotions," Litzau said. "I am leaving a profession that has been so good to be. It has been rewarding and a lot of fun. But, I am also excited about the challenges that lie ahead and being involved in UWM athletics in a much bigger way. I'll get to have contact with all sports and all student-athletes, and allow my leadership skills to grow even more in the process. It is also nice to face these challenges at a place I have enjoyed working at for the last 14 years."
Litzau played collegiate volleyball at Notre Dame, serving as captain while earning team MVP honors as a senior. She served as an assistant coach at Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan State before being named the head coach at UWM. She has her undergraduate degree from Notre Dame and a master's degree in kinesiology from Illinois.
A native of Naperville, Ill., Litzau attended Naperville Central High School, where she lettered in three sports. She was married in May, 1996, and she and her husband, Steve, make their home in Greendale. The couple has three daughters - Lauren, Danielle and Kayce - and a son - Nicholas.