LAMONI, IA - Graceland University head football coach Marc Kolb is pleased to announce that Dan Lemke has been hired as the Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Coordinator/Strength and Conditioning Coordinator.
"Coach Lemke is everything that we were looking for in a Defensive Coordinator," remarked Kolb. "He has been the coordinator of an aggressive defense that led the country in fumble recoveries while being ranked 4th in the country in total turnovers. During his career he has coached all three levels of the defense (defensive line, linebackers, and secondary) so he has a complete grasp of what it takes to be successful in each position group. In addition, he is also a certified strength and conditioning specialist. Anytime you can add a quality coach who also bring those other abilities to the table you are very happy. We are really excited that he and his family are joining our Graceland Football Family."
Lemke, whose first official day is July 1, will arrive at Graceland following a three-year stint at Northwestern Oklahoma State University where his defense forced 72 turnovers in 3 seasons.
"We are excited to move to Lamoni and join both the campus and wider community," said Lemke. "The opportunity to partner with Coach Kolb and the rest of the staff was something that really interested us. It is fun getting ready for the start of preseason camp, but I can't wait until the players actually get here. I look forward to meeting them and helping them get ready for our games this year."
The 2016 season marked Coach Dan Lemke's third season at Northwestern Oklahoma State University as Assistant Head Coach, Defensive Coordinator, Secondary Coach and Director of Strength and Conditioning. Lemke's defense showed consistent improvement during his time.
In the 2015 campaign, the Defense as a whole earned rankings as first in the GAC & Nation, at the end of regular season play, in fumbles recovered, first in the GAC for 4th Down Conversions & third in the GAC for team sacks. In addition to these impressive rankings, the Ranger Defense also finished the regular season first in the GAC and fourth in the Nation for turnovers gained with an impressive 32, 13 being interceptions and 19 being fumbles recovered.
Individually the Ranger Defense racked up some notable achievements with the first All-American Honors as a Division II institution. Lemke moved to the Defensive Line from the Secondary in 2015, where he coached many stand-outs. During that season, Lemke coached an All-American Defensive Lineman who ranked second in the conference for sacks, fourth in forced fumbles and third in tackles for loss. Another one of his Defensive Lineman finished sixth in the GAC for sacks and shared the top spot in the GAC for fumbles recovered with his teammate. In the Secondary, a student-athlete ended the season as first in the GAC and fifth in the Nation for interceptions and second in the GAC and 22nd in the Nation for passes defended.
2014 was Lemke's first season as Defensive Coordinator at NWOSU and he made an immediate impact on the Ranger Defense. In 2014, two athletes, Alex Hemberger (LB) and Joby St. Fleur (DE) earned all-conference honors.
Lemke's Defense held rival SWOSU to only 6 points in the final game of the 2014 season putting an end to what had been a story of losses for the Rangers in the past 19 years of NWOSU vs. SWOSU matchups.
In December of 2014 Lemke was the Head Coach of the NCAA Division II team at the annual NCAA DII vs NAIA Bowl Game. Under the leadership of Coach Lemke the NCAA team beat the NAIA team 38-10 breaking what had been a losing streak. Lemke nominated Ranger Alex Hemberger to play in this All-Star game, and later coached him in it.
Prior to NWOSU Coach Lemke spent the past three seasons as Defensive Backs Coach and Strength & Conditioning Coordinator at Upper Iowa University. During his time there, the Peacocks made dramatic improvement in their pass defense, going from the bottom 15 percent nationally to the upper 40th percentile.
In 2013, Lemke's final season there, Upper Iowa finished 6-5 for its first winning season since making the move up from Division III in 2004. Two of Lemke's defensive backs earned postseason All-Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) honors. In addition to his coaching responsibilities, Lemke was also instrumental in helping upgrade the facilities at Upper Iowa. He helped spearhead the research and design portion of the school's new $400,000 weight room renovation project.
Prior to Upper Iowa, Lemke held a similar position at Saint Joseph's College in Rensselaer, Ind.
Lemke coached a two-time Preseason All-American who twice landed on the GLFC's First Team All-Conference list; he was also named Co-Defensive Back of the Year by the GLFC's coaches after the 2010 season.
Lemke broke into coaching as a graduate assistant at St. Cloud State in St. Cloud, Minn., working extensively with the Husky secondary and outside linebackers, while also assisting on special teams. He completed work on his Masters of Science in Sports Management in 2009.
Lemke had a four-year career as a safety at Western Michigan University; he also served as a volunteer member of the athletic department's strength staff. Lemke earned his Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science there in 2005.
Coach Lemke is married to the former Theresa Hoffman and they have a son, Curtis James.
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