MINNEAPOLIS -- Former University of Minnesota volleyball coach Stephanie Schleuder passed away this week (1950-2023), her family announced.
At the helm of Gopher Volleyball for 13 seasons (1982-94), Schleuder amassed a 263-173 record. During her span, the Gophers made it to the NCAA Tournament twice in 1989 and 1993, including a 1993 Sweet 16 appearance. While at Minnesota, Schleuder coached 12 student-athletes to All-Big Ten honors, Under her tutelage, Martie Larsen was the Big Ten Player of the Year (1983) and an All-America honorable mention (1982), Katrien DeDecker (1993) and Dawn Thompson (1987) were Big Ten Freshmen of the Year, and Rochele Goetz (1988) and Jill Halsted (1983) were Big Ten Medal of Honor recipients. Off the court, the Gophers received 22 Academic All-Big Ten certificates while Schleuder was the head coach. She was inducted into the American Volleyball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2015.
Schleuder coached volleyball for 34 years. Her 702 career victories rank her among the all-time leaders in college spanning four teams, serving her final 12 years at Macalester College. She began her coaching career at Bemidji State before heading to her alma mater Minnesota Duluth where she took an assistant role also accepting the head basketball coaching position. She went on to serve double duty as the head volleyball and basketball coach at the University of Alabama before coaching solely volleyball at her next stop at the University of Minnesota.
In 2005, Schleuder was inducted into the Minnesota Volleyball Hall of Fame and the following year was honored at the Minnesota State Capitol with an award at the Minnesota National Girls and Women in Sports Day. Schleuder is a graduate of the University of Minnesota-Duluth. In 1991, Schleuder became the first woman to be inducted into the UMD Bulldogs Hall of Fame. She was far from a one-trick pony, playing an incredible seven different sports (volleyball, basketball, badminton, field hockey, softball, tennis and track.
In addition to serving as a coach and school administrator, she spent considerable time in prominent volleyball leadership positions. From 2002-2004, she served as president of the American Volleyball Coaches Association and took home multiple awards for her roles at USA Volleyball. She received the Karen Johnson Human Relations Award, a Boyce Award from the USA Volleyball Foundation and a George J. Fisher Leader in Volleyball Award. She went on to serve as a Cadre Instructor in the Coaches Accreditation Program (CAP) and won Gold in 1990 as the coach of the North Team in the U.S. Olympic Festival.
The passing of Stephanie Schleuder provides an opportune occasion to recall what she did, why she did it, and how it expanded the rights of employees, especially women, to speak out about workplace discrimination and other inequities.