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Coaching Staff

Head Coach Kate Witte

ImageKate Witte enters her 20th season as head volleyball coach at Ohio Northern University.

During her 19 years at ONU, Witte has guided the Polar Bears to an impressive 518-156 record (.769 winning percentage), 15 Ohio Athletic Conference regular season titles, 12 OAC tournament championships, 17 NCAA Division III tournament bids, 10 NCAA Division III tournament Sweet 16 appearances and four Elite 8 appearances.

Last season, ONU posted a 30-4 record, won the OAC Tournament title, made its 10th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance, reached the NCAA Sweet 16 and ended the season ranked No. 5 nationally by the American Volleyball Coaches Association.

Witte won her 500th career match at ONU on Sept. 19, 2009 against No. 8-ranked Hope (Mich.).

Witte has been named OAC Volleyball Coach of the Year in ’91, ’94, ’96, ’97, '02 and ’08 and the AVCA Regional Coach of the Year in ’94, ’96, ’97 and '03.

The Polar Bears have posted an impressive 1,124 victories in the 53 seasons of ONU volleyball. Without a doubt, Witte has been a major part of that continuing success and has established herself as one of the nation’s top coaches.

In addition to coaching, she also serves as ONU’s senior women’s administrator, the NCAA Great Lakes Region representative, an assistant professor in the ONU department of health, physical education and sport studies and is one of the department’s most respected and knowledgeable educators.

She is also the director for ONU’s annual summer volleyball camps, has served as the Chair of the Great Lakes region, on the NCAA regional ranking, and All-Region and All-America selection committees.

Witte came to ONU from Iowa State University, where she had been a temporary instructor of health studies in the department of physical education and leisure studies and the coach for the men's volleyball club team for two years.


ONU Coaching Highlights
OAC Coach of the Year
1991, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2002, 2008
AVCA Regional Coach of the Year
1994, 1996, 1997, 2003, 2009
Coached OAC Player of the Year
1991, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2008, 2009
Coached OAC Libero of the Year
2003, 2005, 2006
Coached OAC Freshman of the Year
1999, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2007
Coached Region Freshman of the Year
2002, 2003, 2006
AVCA All-Americans
1997, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009
Academic All-Americans
1993, 2000, 2008, 2009
Academic All-America Team Award
1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004
Education: Witte graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in 1982 with a degree in health and physical education. While there, she was a four-year standout and was named to the Midwest Region AIAW All-America team her senior year.

From 1982-87, she taught health and physical education on the elementary and high school levels in Iowa and was the head varsity volleyball coach at St. Albert High School.

In 1989 Witte obtained her master’s degree from Indiana University in school health education. While at Indiana she served as an associate instructor and graduate assistant to the women's volleyball program.


NCAA Winningest Active Coaches
No. Coach, School %
Paco Labrador, Wittenberg
2. Larry Bock, Juniata (Pa.)
3. Amber Warners, Calvin (Mich.)
Jim Spagle, Cal St. East Bay .795
Thanh Pham, St. Thomas (Minn.)
J.J. O'Connell, Stevens Inst. (N.J.)
Jenny McDowell, Emory (Ga.)
Brian Snyder, Wash. & Lee (Va.)
Leanne Ulmer, Carthage (Wisc.) .775
Kate Witte, Ohio Northern .769


Year Record Pct. OAC/Place OAC Tournament Post Season
2009 30-4 .882 7-2 / t2nd Champs NCAA Regional Finalist
2008 34-5
9-0 / 1st
NCAA Semifinals
2007 29-7 .806 9-0 / 1st Champs NCAA Regional Finalist
2006 27-9 .750 8-1 / t1st Champs NCAA Regionals
2005 27-9 .750 8-1 / 1st NCAA Regional Semifinalist
2004 29-5 .853 9-0 / 1st Champs NCAA Regional Semifinalist
2003 30-8 .789 8-1 / t1st Champs NCAA Quarterfinals
2002 23-10 .757 9-0 / 1st NCAA Regional Semifinals
2001 28-9 .757 8-1 / t1st Champs NCAA Regional Finalist
2000 28-8 .778 9-0 / 1st Runners-up NCAA Tournament
1999 26-6 .813 7-1 / 2nd
1998 19-13 .594 7-2 / t2nd Runners-up NCAA Tournament
1997 28-6 .824 9-0 / 1st Champs NCAA Quarterfinals
1996 30-7 .811 8-1 / t1st Champs NCAA Quarterfinals
1995 25-7 .781 9-0 / 1st Champs NCAA Regional Semifinals
1994 28-10 .737 9-0 / 1st Champs NCAA Regional finalist
1993 25-13 .658 7-2 / 3rd Runners-up NCAA Regional finalist
1992 23-10 .697 8-1 / t1st Runners-up
1991 29-10 .744 8-1 / t1st Champs NCAA Regional Semifinals
19 yrs
15 Championships
12 Tournament Titles
17 NCAA Appearences
4 Quarterfinals Appearances
1 Semifinals Appearance

Assistant Coach
Jacque Strahley

Assistant Coach
Dr. Brian Hofman

Send Hofman an e-mail
ImageJacque Strahley is in her 17th year as a volunteer assistant coach for ONU.

She serves as the setter position coach in Witte's staff.

Under her tutelage the Bears have produced All-Region setters 11 out of the past 13 years and an All-OAC setter each of the last 13 years, including two-time AVCA All-American and two-time OAC Player of the Year Brandi Stover and two-time All-American and one-time OAC Player of the Year Katie Weininger.

She graduated from ONU in 1985 after a standout career in volleyball, earning first team All-OAC and All-Ohio honors her senior year.

She also was a standout basketball and tennis player at Ohio Northern.

She ranks seventh in the all-time list for assists with 580, all during the 1984 season, the first year assists were kept as an official statistic.

In basketball, Jacque holds a school record with 483 points in a single season. She also ranks sixth on the ONU all-time scoring list with 1,015 points from 1981-85.

She once scored 32 points in a single game.

Prior to joining the ONU coaching staff, she spent seven very successful seasons as the head volleyball coach for Indian Lake High School.

She currently teaches in the science department at Indian Lake, and holds a master's degree in sports management.

Jacque was inducted into Ohio Northern's Athletic Hall of Fame in February of 1999.

ImageDr. Brian Hofman enters his 18th season as an assistant volleyball coach at Ohio Northern.

He serves as the middle hitter position coach and is a key reason ONU has had an All-Region middle hitter nine out of the last 12 years and an All-OAC middle hitter each of the last 13 years.

He was a standout volleyball player for the Iowa State University men's volleyball club team during his undergraduate studies, which cumulated in a bachelor's degree in 1993.

Hofman led the Cyclones to two top 10 finishes in the men's collegiate club national tournament. He was a Midwest Intercollegiate All-Conference selection his junior year.

He has also received the United States Volleyball Association's honorable mention leader in volleyball award for his service to the USVBA.

He earned his master's degree from Bowling Green State University in recreational management in 1995 and his his doctoral degree in higher education at the University of Toledo in 2004.

At ONU, he serves as junior varsity coach, Assistant Athletics Director and is an Associate Professor in the department of Human Performances and Sports Sciences.

Hofman also organized and coaches the men's volleyball club at ONU. He led the Polar Bears to nine top 10 finishes in National Small College Club Volleyball Championships, including the national championship in 2007 and a runner-up finish in 2004.

Student Assistant Coach
Joscie Kaup

Image Joscie Kaup is entering her third season as a student assistant coach with Ohio Northern, serving primarily as a coach for the defensive specialists.

Kaup was a standout volleyball player at Syracuse from 2004-2007 and graduated from the university in 2008 with a degree in broadcast journalism.

A four-year starter at libero, Kaup served as team captain for the Orange as a junior and senior. She was also named team MVP both of those years.

Each year she was named Syracuse's best defensive player and was selected Second Team All-Big East as a senior.

By the end of her career, Kaup held the all-time record for most digs in a career.

Kaup graduated from Ft. Recovery high school in 2004 and finds herself at Northern after her sister Jackie (Kaup) Briscoe played for the Polar Bears from 1998-2001.

She is currently a second-year law student at Ohio Northern.