Madison College Hires New Women’s Basketball Coach, Lois Heeren

Madison College has announced the hiring of new head women’s basketball coach, Lois Heeren. Heeren comes to Madison College after 17 years as head coach at NCAA Division III University of Wisconsin-La Crosse (UWL), and replaces former head coach, Jessica Pelzel, who resigned her post after ten years. In addition to taking over the women’s basketball program, Heeren will also be a physical education instructor at Madison College.

Heeren left UWL after becoming the winningest coach in school history with 209 wins, a number that is also the ninth most all-time in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC). In 2010-11, UWL earned an at-large bid for the NCAA Division III Tournament for the first time in 23 seasons, matching a school record with a dozen league victories in the process. Heeren was named the WIAC Coach of the Year following the 2005-06 season, and coached 33 All-WIAC players, including one WIAC Player of the Year and a D3 Hoops Honorable Mention All-American candidate.

“We are pleased to welcome Lois Heeren to our college and to our department,” commented Director or Athletics, Steve Hauser. “Lois brings a wealth of professional and life experiences to our physical education program and athletic department. In getting to know Lois it became very clear very quickly, that she has a real passion for working with students and athletes. I know that she will work very hard to provide a positive environment for the students she engages with and the student-athletes that she coaches.”

Throughout her tenure at UWL, Heeren was a member of the faculty teaching a variety of classes in the Sport Management and Physical Education programs, she was the senior women’s administrator and advisor for Student Athlete Winner’s Council from 2003 to 2004, and she served a three-year term on the L-Club Board, a fundraising program for the athletic department. Heeren spent 13 years as the Assistant Director for External Operations during the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association State Track and Field Meet.

“Thanks to Todd Stebbins, Steve Hauser and hiring committee for the opportunity to work and coach at Madison College,” commented Lois Heeren. “I am excited to start working with the women’s basketball student-athletes and for the challenge of elevating the women’s basketball program to the next level.”

Heeren’s coaching career began as an assistant at UW-River Falls (NCAA Division III) in 1987, and quickly led to her first head coaching position just two years later at her alma mater, Truman State University. Heeren guided Truman State (NCAA Division II) for three seasons, putting together a 31-48 record. For the 1992-93 season, she stepped into the NCAA Division I coaching ranks as an assistant at Southwest Texas State University, but again quickly returned to being a head coach at St. Mary’s University of Minnesota (NCAA Division III). After three years and a 21-53 mark, she accepted an assistant position with the United States Air Force Academy (NCAA Division I). Heeren would spend two seasons with the Falcons before UWL brought her back to the Midwest in 1999.

Heeren earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Education-Physical Education/Coaching at Truman State University in 1984, and later received her Master of Arts in Administration of Fitness/Wellness Programs from the University of Iowa in 1986. She is a native of Greene, Iowa.

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