Leanne Ulmer begins her 17th year as head coach in 2017 (463-139, .769 winning percentage, 16 years). Ulmer was named American Volleyball Coaches Association Midwest Regional “Coach of the Year” three times (2006, 2007 and 2014) and College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin “Women’s Volleyball Coach of the Year” on seven occasions (2002, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2014 and 2015).
Her .769 winning percentage over 15 seasons ranks 8th among active NCAA Division III coaches entering the 2017 season. Ulmer is ranked first all-time at Carthage in career wins (445) and first in winning percentage (.779). She passed coach Diane Mizerka (190 wins, 1975-82) with a victory over North Park University on Oct. 30, 2007. Ulmer picked up her 400th career win in a 3-0 decision over Clarke University on Oct. 25, 2014 in Oshkosh, Wis.
Ulmer also begins her 15th year as senior woman administrator in the Carthage athletic department in 2017-18.
A native of San Bernardino, Cal., she served as head girls volleyball coach at Lincolnshire Stevenson High School from 1993-2000 (227-75-2, 8 years) and the boys volleyball coach from 1997-2000 (99-13, 4 years). Ulmer had eight-consecutive 20-win seasons in girls volleyball and four 30-win campaigns, with three conference championships, five regional titles and two sectional championships. Her 2000 boys team finished second in the Illinois High School Association championship after winning league, regional and sectional titles. Ulmer has served as the co-director of the TNT Volleyball Club in Buffalo Grove, Ill., since 1995.
Ulmer received her bachelor’s in social relations from California-Riverside in 1979, where she played volleyball, basketball and softball. Her 1979 volleyball team won an Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) national championship, and Ulmer was inducted into that school’s athletic hall of fame in 1986. Following a brief playing career in 1979 with the New York Stars of the Women’s Professional Basketball League, Ulmer returned to California-Riverside in 1981 as an assistant women’s basketball coach before becoming head coach for both girls volleyball and girls basketball at San Bernardino’s San Gorgonio High School from 1982-84. She also played on the Women’s Professional Golf Association mini-tour from 1989-91.