UW-Eau Claire head volleyball coach Lisa Herb has announced her retirement from coaching after 22 seasons at Eau Claire and 28 seasons overall as a head coach, Director of Athletics Scott Kilgallon announced today.
Herb compiled a 626-208 record (.751 winning percentage) in her 22 years at Eau Claire and coached 1,086 career matches in 28 years, finishing with a 789-297 career mark (.726). She started the 2006 season as the third winningest coach in Division III, trailing only Larry Bock of Juniata, Pennsylvania who currently has 1,100 wins and Rich Luenemann of Washington University, Missouri, who has 871 wins.
Herb will rank third among Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) coaches for wins while at a UW school and second in all-time wins behind Kris Russell of UW-Whitewater who went 812-231 in 24 seasons. Marty Petersen of UW-Oshkosh amassed a 630-368 record in 22 seasons at UW-Oshkosh
Under Herb the Blugolds advanced to nine NCAA post-season tournaments. Eau Claire finished 9-9 overall in NCAA play but compiled a 6-3 record in its last three tournament appearances in 1997, 2005 and 2006. The Blugolds advanced to the Sweet Sixteen seven times, reaching that round in 1987, 1989, 1993, 1994, 1997, 2005 and 2006.
Eau Claire won WIAC championships in 1987 and 2006. The Blugolds finished second in the regular season standings in 1988, 1989, 1990 and 1997 while placing third in 1985, 1992, 1993, 1996 and 2005.
With Herb as head coach the Blugolds posted winning records in 21 of her 22 seasons. Eau Claire finished 52-3 in 1987 which is the second-most match wins ever recorded by a WIAC school in one season. The Blugolds also notched a 42-14 record in Herb’s second Eau Claire season in 1986. During Herb’s tenure, the Blugolds have posted nine 30-plus win seasons and 20 20-plus win seasons.
As the Blugold head coach, Herb produced 15 All-Americans. Only UW-Whitewater with 32 and UW-Oshkosh with 18 produced more over the same time frame. The Blugolds have received the most All-Americans among WIAC schools in the last two years as five players have achieved that honor.
Before Herb’s arrival, only three Blugolds received All-Conference status. In the last 22 years, Eau Claire has had 70 first team, honorable mention or all-defensive honors. Forty-eight Blugolds have been named to the first team in addition to 17 honorable mention and five all-defensive recipients. Only Whitewater has received more all-conference honors during that time with 76.
Prior to her arrival in Eau Claire, Herb spent six seasons as the head coach at the University of Dubuque, Iowa. During her stint at Dubuque, the Spartans went 163-89, winning the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC) championship in 1982 with a second in 1983. Herb’s 1982 team still holds school records for best season record at 46-5, matches won at 46 and most service aces with 384. In six seasons, seven Spartans received all-conference honors with two winning IIAC Player of the Year honors and one Academic All-District honoree. Herb was inducted into the University of Dubuque Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001 and her 1982 team was inducted in 2004.
Herb inherited an Eau Claire program that had won 100 matches in 10 seasons and an overall record of 6-65 in the two previous seasons. Herb went on to win 32 matches in her first season. She was named the WIAC Coach of the Year in 1997 and 2006.
Kilgallon expressed his appreciation for Herb's long service with Blugold athletics. "I want to thank Lisa for her dedication to the program and the many student-athletes whom she mentored during these past 22 years."
Herb will continue in her UWEC position as Associate Professor in the Department of Kinesiology. She is currently serving as the interim chair of that department.