Waupun’s longtime and high successful volleyball coach Keith Milkowski will be stepping down as head volleyball coach.
Milkowski said Saturday that he had been thinking about retiring for a number of years but made the decision after the 2012 campaign.
“I wanted some things in place before I turned it over to the next person,” Milkowski said. “I wanted to go out on a good note on a good season. I wanted to leave the program in good shape with good players returning and we’ll have three all-conference back next year. And I wanted the kids to be comfortable with next coach.”
Milkowski said that JV coach and varsity assistant Kurt Breier will take over as head coach next season. Breier has also coached with the UW-Oshkosh men’s program and been head coach for the Kaukauna boys volleyball team, according to Milkowski.
Milkowski, who just completed his 26th season as Waupun’s head coach and sports a career record of 900-245, has won 11 state championships in his career and sports a whopping 27-4 record in his 15 state tournament appearances.
The 15 state appearances are the fourth-most in WIAA history, trailing only Westosha Central (18), West Bend East (17) and Wauwatosa East (16).
The Warriors’ first state title under Milkowski came in 1993, while Waupun rattled off five straight crowns from 2001 through 2005.
The last state title for Milkowski was in 2008, while the team’s last state appearance was in 2010.
“I think most coaches, if you get the opportunity to get to one state tournament, their mouths are watering,” Milkowski said. “We got there 15 times.”
But Milkowski was more focused on each season rather than the impressive run he was leading the Warriors on.
“I’ve never really stopped to look at magnitude of it. For me, it just kind of kept flowing from one season to the next and my focus was developing players,” he said. “It just started snowballing at one point.”
Milkowski has also led the Warriors to 18 regional titles and 12 conference titles.
Part of what led to his decision to retire as volleyball coach was the workload while serving as both volleyball coach and the athletic director at Waupun.
And as much as he is looking forward to focusing on just one position — and having more free time next fall — he admits it may be difficult not to be in the gym next season.
“There’s never a good time to get out of it. … There will be some regrets for sure next fall when I’m not the head coach,” Milkowski said. “I will miss the time in the gym and the practices, but I also am looking forward to having more free time in the fall.”