CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Virginia’s Director of Track and Field and Cross Country, Vin Lananna announced on Thursday (Sept. 15) that Steve Lemke is the newest addition to his coaching staff working with the men’s and women’s throwers. Lemke comes to Virginia with one of the top resumes in the country having coached athletes to 13 individual NCAA championships over the course of his career as well as 15 Olympics appearances and one Olympic gold medalist.
Lemke replaces Martin Maric who departs after 10 seasons on the Virginia staff.
“Our group of accomplished throwers deserved a special coach,” Lananna said. “In Steve Lemke, we have identified a proven winner with tremendous integrity, extensive experience and flawless technical knowledge. We are pleased to welcome him and his wife, Greder to our community.”
Lemke spent his last 15 seasons in coaching at Florida as the associate head coach for throws. During his time in Gainesville, Lemke led the Gator throwers to the top of not only the SEC, but to the upper tier of NCAA Division I
Over the course of his tenure at Florida, which began in 2006, the Gator women won seven individual NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships in throwing events – the third most by any Division I program in that span. Florida’s five indoor and outdoor national shot put titles were tied for the national lead during his tenure with the team as well.
“I am very excited to join the staff at Virginia, I want to thank Coach Lananna and Carla Williams for having faith in me and giving me this opportunity,” Lemke said. “I am thrilled about Vin’s vision for the Virginia track and field program, and I can’t wait to get started.”
Lemke’s track record at national meets speaks for itself. Aside from just developing national champions, his athletes at Florida consistently scored at national meets helping the program to nine national titles on the men’s side and numerous top-five finishes on the women’s side. In all, Lemke coached a total of 50 Florida men and women to score at the NCAA Championships, a number that ranks second among Division I coaches in that span. Under his tutelage, a total of 70 Gators earned USTFCCCA All-America honors in throwing events.
At the conference level, Lemke led his men and women to 35 indoor and outdoor SEC titles in the throwing events – five more than any other SEC program over that period.
In addition to his time at Florida (2006-2021), he has also coached at Arizona State (1994-96), UTEP (1990-93), Yale (1987-89) and served as a graduate assistant coach at Southeast Missouri State (1985-86).
Lemke also has experience at the international level as he served as the head coach and National Throws Coordinator at the Queensland Academy of Sport in Australia (2002-04), the head coach and National Throws Coordinator at the Western Australia Institute of Sport (1998-99, 2001-02) and the National Senior and Junior Throws coach for Norway (1996-98).
What They’re Saying:
“Steve Lemke and I worked side by side for 14 seasons. His tireless work in the throws arena and his passion for the entire team were unmatched. Steve’s record tells the story of his coaching abilities, but it doesn’t speak to the great human being that he is. Although I was sorry to have him not be with me at UF. I am very excited that he is back doing what he loves. Coaching and developing people, both on and off the track.” – Mike Holloway, Head Track & Field Coach at Florida, 2020 Tokyo Olympics U.S. Track & Field Head Coach
“Year after year, I have enjoyed and admired Coach Lemke develop throwers at both the collegiate and international levels.” – Amy Deem, Head Track & Field Coach at Miami, 2012 London Olympics U.S. Track & Field Head Coach
“I couldn’t say enough good things about Coach Lemke, and the relationship that he and I have. He figures out how to get the best thing out of that of his athletes. And I think that shows if you look at his track record at big meets whether it was SEC championships or NCAA championships. His ability to drive athletes to the next level is unmatched.” – AJ McFarland, two-time All-American at Florida
“I think he brings a lot of wisdom everywhere he goes and has the ability to work with a team to help them come together at the conference and NCAA championship level. What I really liked about working under him is that he was always very creative. He would just come up with things that worked for individual athletes. It was not like one thing fits everything.” – Mariam Kevhishvili, three-time NCAA Champion at Florida