Gary Lemle didn't think he was wearing out his welcome as the girls' basketball
coach at Cardinal Stritch, he was simply wearing out.
Earlier this month, Lemle informed Cardinal Stritch President Father David Reinhart that he was resigning as the Cardinals' head coach. Lemle, 48, leaves with an 89-63 career record including three Toledo Area Athletic Conference titles and two runner-up finishes.
"They were disappointed that I'm leaving, but after seven years I felt it was time," Lemle said. "I need to sit back a little bit and recharge the batteries. I had thought about (resigning) last year, but I decided to stay one more year and finish out with this group of six seniors."
Lemle's final Stritch squad finished 6-15 and 6-6 in the TAAC after losing senior point guard Nicole Lamb for all but eight games this season due to injury. Lemle called losing Lamb, last year's conference player of the year, a "tremendous" loss.
"My whole offense was geared to go through her in one way, shape or form," he said. "We knew we had to develop depth, and to lose her really threw everyone else into the fire."
Lemle, a St. Francis de Sales graduate, coached Eastwood's junior varsity girls team for one year before taking over at Stritch. He also coached freshman girls at Central Catholic and Notre Dame Academy for three years each.
In 2004, Lemle's first Cardinal Stritch team reached the regional finals, earning Lemle the Associated Press Co-Coach of the Year Award in Division III.
He was twice named the TAAC coach of the year.
"Stritch is a really good place to coach," said Lemle, who will become a grandfather next month. "I was blessed with good kids and a lot of parental support. The school treated me very well; I have no problem there.
"I'm definitely going to miss being around basketball next year. Mrs. Coach (Lemle's wife, Kim) doesn't know what she's doing to do with me next winter. I guess I'll have a lot of time to spend with my grandchild."
First-year Cardinal Stritch Athletic Director Joe Gutilla said the girls basketball coaching vacancy was posted last week. The school will continue to take applications through March 30.
"The Cardinal Stritch community is extremely grateful to Gary for all of his efforts and hard work," Gutilla said. "We are very proud of his accomplishments as head coach of the girls’ basketball program. We would like to have a coach permanently in place as soon as possible."