Karen Middleton starts her first season as UW-La Crosse head women's basketball coach in 2016-17. A native of Jefferson, South Carolina, Middleton served as associate head coach at Cal State Fullerton University in 2015-16, overseeing the day-to-day aspects of the women’s basketball program for the Titans.
“I am ecstatic to be named the head coach at UWL,” said Middleton. “I heavily researched the school, the team, and the conference before applying, and I know what an incredible opportunity this position at UW-La Crosse presents. I truly look forward to working in an athletic department driven by excellence on and off the court. Additionally, I can’t wait to begin working with a group of young women motivated to be the best.
“I am extremely impressed with the total package UWL provides its students,” added Middleton. “It has elite academic standards with world-class programs combined with athletic programs that are competing for and winning championships year after year. UWL has a picturesque campus that is growing to give its students incredible resources and is located in a gorgeous area to live. I felt very welcomed by everyone I met on campus. I could feel the support and the feel of “family” within the athletic department and campus community. Being an Eagle is a great fit for me, as the positive experience of students is always put in the forefront."
Prior to working at Cal State Fullerton, Middleton was the head women’s basketball coach at Western Carolina University (Cullowhee, North Carolina) for six years from 2009-15. Under Middleton’s tutelage, three Catamounts earned SoCan All-Freshman honors while three players earned all-conference accolades, including a pair of first team choices. Western Carolina garnered Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Academic National Top-25 finishes twice, including 13th in 2011-12 and 14th in 2012-13.
“My immediate plans are to call our current players and begin letting them get to know me and me get to know each of them and their families,” said Middleton. “It is critical we continue to build our chemistry and championship culture, and I believe that begins with positive relationships and trust. Next, I will begin to put a dynamic staff together. This goes without saying, but I will be reaching out to high school and club coaches, attend summer camps and tournaments, and hit the recruiting trail hard. There are many, many, things to do, and I am ready to get started.
“I am looking forward to getting to know the players and helping them reach their goals, on and off the court,” added Middleton. “I am excited about the UWL athletic department, and the way each team is striving for greatness. I look forward to teaching the game, creating a family atmosphere, and helping our players grow into successful young women. These are an amazing four years of any student’s life, and I am honored to be their head coach at UWL. I can’t wait to get on the court in October and begin taking strides towards reaching our goals as a team and program.”
The 15th head women's basketball coach in UWL history, Middleton spent two years as an assistant coach at the University of Illinois from 2007-09, helping lead the Illini to a WNIT appearance in 2007-08. She helped sign the No. 3 recruiting class in the country at Illinois. Middleton coaches two-time All-Big Ten First Team selection Jenna Smith.
Before coaching at Illinois, Middleton served as an assistant coach at Stanford University (Calif.) for 10 years from 1997-2007 under head coach Tara VanDerveer. The Cardinal won eight Pac-10 conference titles and earned 10 consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances, including four Sweet Sixteens and three Elite Eights. Middleton coached three Kodak All-Americans and two Pac-10 Players of the Year.
Prior to arriving at Stanford, Middleton was an assistant coach at Eastern Washington University for three years (1994-97) and for two years at South Carolina (1992-94). A member of the WBCA, Middleton was on the USA Basketball Olympic Festival Trails Staff in 1993 and the USA Basketball National Team Training Camp Staff in 1994.
“I have had tremendous opportunities and experiences in my coaching career,” added Middleton. “From my successful playing days at South Carolina, under a incredible coach and mentor in Nancy Wilson, to working at Stanford and learning from Hall of Famer, Tara VanDerveer, I have a vision of what success looks like and feels like. I am a teacher of the game. I have the knowledge and leadership skills to help our players continue to grow and develop individually, while helping our team progress to compete for championships. I have great attention to detail, and I always do things the right way. Additionally, I have a tremendous urgency to help each player enjoy their experience, which means earning a degree, winning championships, and having fun while doing it all.”
Middleton graduated cum laude from the University of South Carolina in 1991 with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education while earning her Interdisciplinary Master of Arts in physical education in 1993 from South Carolina.
She started her coaching career at her alma mater as a volunteer assistant (1991-92). Middleton played for the Gamecocks for four years, scoring over 1,700 career points and setting a single-season school record with 115 three-point field goals made. She was a team captain and most valuable player and earned All-Metro Conference honors.
Jonelle Streed starts her first season as an assistant women’s basketball coach at UW-La Crosse in 2016-17. She also serves as an event coordinator for intercollegiate athletics.
Streed served as the women’s basketball recruiting coordinator and assistant coach at Western Carolina University from 2009-2015. Prior assistant women’s basketball coaching stops include at Miami University (Ohio) in 2008-09 and the University of Arizona from 2005-08. She served as a graduate assistant coach and video coordinator at Arizona from 2004-06 before transitioning into an assistant coach position for two years. Streed was an intern with the women’s basketball team along with an event manager at Stanford University (Calif.) in 2003-04.
She earned her master’s degree in educational psychology with a physical education emphasis from Arizona in 2006, graduating magna cum laude. Streed earned her bachelor’s degree in mass communications with a coaching minor at St. Cloud State University (Minn.) in 2003, also graduating magna cum laude.
A four-year letter winner in basketball at St. Cloud State (Minn.), Streed served as team captain for the Huskies. She earned North Central Conference (NCC) Academic honors.
Streed graduated from Cambridge-Isanti High School (Cambridge, Minn.), finishing as the school’s all-time leading scorer (girls and boys) with 1,799 points. She was an all-state selection in 1998 and 1999 and was inducted into the Cambridge-Isanti High School Hall of Fame in 2005. Streed was a Minnesota Miss Basketball Finalist.
Jordan Skaar is in his second season as an assistant women's basketball coach at UW-La Crosse in 2016-17. Prior to arriving at UWL, he served as head junior varsity girls’ basketball coach and assistant varsity basketball coach at Bangor (Wis.) High School from 2010-15. Skaar was also the Cardinals’ junior varsity head baseball coach and assistant varsity baseball coach for five seasons.
In those five seasons Skaar helped guide Bangor (Wis.) to two conference titles each in each sport as well as two regional championships and two sectional final appearances.
He was a volunteer coach for the Bangor (Wis.) High School varsity boys’ basketball team from 2010-14.
Skaar earned his bachelor’s degree in health and wellness recreation at the University of Dubuque (Iowa) in 2010 while minoring in coaching. He was on the Spartans' baseball team as a pitcher from 2005-09.
He was also a student assistant coach for the women’s basketball team at Dubuque (Iowa) from 2008-10. Along with serving as a student assistant coach, Skaar was a recreational department intern at Dubuque (Iowa) in 2009-10.
Skaar worked as a pitching camp instructor at Dubuque (Iowa) for four years. He also continues to coach private pitching lessons.
In 2016, Skaar was named head varsity baseball coach at Galesville-Ettrick-Trempealeau High School (Wis.). He will serve that role in his second season in 2017.
Student Assistant Coach
Koleman Schilling is in his second year as a student assistant coach at UW-La Crosse in 2016-17. A native of Marathon, Wisconsin, Schilling played baseball at Rochester Community & Technical College (Minn.) from 2011-13 and basketball at UW-Marathon County in 2013-14.
He served as an assistant baseball coach at Marathon High School in 2014 and serves as an assistant baseball coach at Galesville-Ettrick-Trempealeau (Wis.) High School for the second year in 2017.
Schilling plans to graduate from UWL in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in sport management with a concentration in coaching.