Lizzy Stemke was named head coach of the University of Georgia women's volleyball program on Dec. 22, 2010. Stemke, the sixth head coach at Georgia since the program's inception in 1978, comes to Athens having spent four seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Nebraska.
Stemke's third season in Athens was a historic one, as the program reached the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2004. She guided the team to a 22-10 record, its best record since 1994 and posted a 3-2 win over then-No. 15 Kentucky, Georgia's first win over a ranked team in the Stemke era. The Bulldogs finished fourth in the SEC with an 11-9 record. Under her leadership, Brittany Northcutt was named to the All-SEC team, while Lauren Teknipp was named to the CoSIDA Academic All-Region team.
Stemke led the Bulldogs to an overall record of 14-16 in her second season with the Bulldogs. The recorded included eight wins over SEC opponents. She also coached Jasmine Eatmon to the SEC All-Freshman team and two SEC Freshman of the Week honors. Stemke also led the Bulldogs to a season-sweep of Alabama and Mississippi State and wins over LSU and Missouri. The win at LSU was the first win in Baton Rouge for a Bulldog team since 2001. The team also took perennial league powers Tennessee and Kentucky five sets.
In her first season at the helm of the Bulldogs in 2011, Georgia went 11-19 overall including a 7-13 record in Southeastern Conference play finishing tied sixth in the league.
A former All-American and U.S. National Team member, Stemke helped guide the Huskers to a 116-15 record and four NCAA Volleyball Championship appearances during her time with the program. In Big 12 play from 2007-10, the Huskers went 72-8 with three Big 12 titles.
Stemke's roles at Nebraska included serving as the co-recruiting coordinator, offensive coordinator, setter training, video coordinator, academic and community involvement liaison, and assisting with summer camps and coaching clinics. She played a major role in the recruitment of a pair of top-10 recruiting classes, including the 2009 class that was ranked second nationally by Prepvolleyball.com. Her contributions to NU's success were noticed as she was named one of the country's top-10 assistant coaches by Volleyball Magazine in February of 2010.
Stemke coached two All-American setters at Nebraska in Sydney Anderson and Rachel Holloway. In 2009, Anderson became a two-time All-American, averaging 11.53 assists per set to help Nebraska to a sixth consecutive NCAA Regional Final. In 2008, Anderson earned second-team AVCA All-America honors ranking eighth nationally in assists at 11.60 per set, as the Huskers replaced four All-Americans from the previous season. In Stemke's first year at NU, the Huskers finished in the top three nationally in assists per set (16.42) and hitting percentage (.327) while Holloway finished her college career ranking ninth nationally with 13.58 assists per set.
Prior to Nebraska, Stemke was an assistant coach at the University of North Carolina from 2005-06. At UNC, Stemke served as setters' coach, handled opponent scouting and video exchange, recruiting, team travel and community outreach. In 2005, the Tar Heels won the Atlantic Coast Conference title and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
Stemke also has additional experience coaching both at the collegiate and club levels. Since 2007, she has worked with setting and defensive clinics at the Nebraska Volleyball Academy while also assisting with numerous tryouts and summer camps with USA High Performance. Stemke spent the 2003 season as a volunteer assistant at the University of Central Florida, and the Knights won the Atlantic Sun Conference championship and reached the round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament for the second time in school history before finishing with a 23-7 record.
During her time in Florida, Stemke also co-founded the Team Orlando Volleyball Club and acted as its head recruiter and setter and defense clinic coordinator. She has also spent time working with the Triangle Setting Academy, the Wisconsin Power Volleyball Club, the All-American Volleyball Camps and Next Level Volleyball Camp.
Stemke enjoyed a distinguished career at the University of Wisconsin from 1998 to 2001. A three-year starter for the Badgers and team captain from 2000-01, she helped Wisconsin to a 112-23 record, a pair of Big Ten titles and an NCAA runner-up finish in 2000. One of only three two-time AVCA All-Americans in Wisconsin history, she ranked fourth nationally in assists as a senior in 2001, with 13.72 per game when she was named Big Ten Player of the Year. She was recruited to Wisconsin by current Nebraska head coach John Cook, whose last year as Badgers' head coach was 1998.
Following her collegiate career, Stemke spent two years with the U.S. National Team. In 2002, she was a member of the silver medal-winning team at the World Championships. She also helped the U.S. team win a bronze medal at the 2003 Pan-American Games. After her time with the national team, Stemke spent two seasons playing professionally. In 2003, she was named the Most Valuable Player of the Puerto Rican League. She then spent one season playing in the Pro A League in France.
Stemke earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communications degree from the University of Wisconsin in 2004.
The former Lizzy Fitzgerald, she is married to Kevin Stemke, and they welcomed their first child, a daughter, Kerrigan Jane on Dec. 7, 2010. Kevin played collegiate football at the University of Wisconsin from 1997-2000 and was named the inaugural winner of the Ray Guy Award in 2000 as the nation's top punter. He went on to play professionally from 2001-04 with five organizations most notably the Oakland Raiders in 2002 and the St. Louis Rams in 2004.
Stemke comes from a family heavily involved in college athletics. Her father, Billy Fitzgerald, played baseball and basketball at Tulane from 1967-69 and is in the school's athletic hall of fame. Her older brother, Edmond, played basketball at Ole Miss from 1992-94, while her older sister, Meg, played volleyball at Florida from 1992-95 and was the head volleyball coach at Central Florida until 2007. Her youngest brother, Robert, played baseball at the University of Tennessee from 2002-05.