Kim Bukowski, a Wisconsin native with Division I playing and coaching experience, is Lakeland College's new head women's volleyball coach.
"I'm excited to return to Wisconsin," said Bukowski. "This state has some of the top Division III programs in the country, which is a tribute to the quality of players at the high school and club level. I'm excited to bring this program back to the top."
Bukowski comes to Lakeland after playing and coaching at Valparaiso University. She served as a graduate assistant coach this past fall, and helped the Crusaders finish 20-15 and finish fourth in the Horizon League. The program had two American Volleyball Coaches Association All-Region players.
The Waukesha native was also an assistant coach for one season at the University of South Dakota. The team was runner-up in the Great West Conference Championship.
As a player, Bukowski was a four-year starting setter at Valparaiso. She helped the Crusaders to 91 victories (2006-2009), including four straight 20-win seasons. Valparaiso finished second in the league in three of her four years and advanced to the league title match on two occasions. Bukowski closed out her Crusader career with 3,543 assists, which ranks third in Valparaiso history.
Bukowski is a two-time All-Horizon League selection and in 2008 received AVCA Honorable Mention All-Region accolades after leading the Horizon League and finishing sixth nationally in assists/set. She is a three-time HL Player of the Week that also helped the Crusaders lead the nation that season in both kills/set and assists/set.
Bukowski takes over a young Lakeland team that struggled through inconsistent play and finished 9-21 overall, 6-6 in the Northern Athletics Conference. The program has made six NCAA Tournament appearances and won eight of its 10 conference championships in the last 10 seasons.
"I come from a program both as a player and coach that are steeped in tradition with a history of winning records" said Bukowski. "I will need to evaluate the Lakeland volleyball program in order to determine areas of focus for improvement. To continuously perform at a high level takes hard work and dedication and I am confident that is what I will get from this program."
Lakeland athletic director Jane Bouche shared her enthusiasm for the hiring and her desire to continue to build on the tradition that exists within the program,
"We're looking forward to seeing Kim's passion and enthusiasm for volleyball impact our program," said Bouche. "Her experience as a player and coach have been good preparation for her to become a head coach. She is, of course, aware of our program's strong tradition, and she embraces the opportunity to build on what we have already accomplished."
Bukowski graduated from Valparaiso University in 2009 with a bachelor's degree in business administration. She earned a master's in kinesiology and sports science from the University of South Dakota in 2011.