Karen Middleton starts her third season as UW-La Crosse head women's basketball coach in 2018-19. The Eagles were 16-10 overall and 9-5 in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) in 2017-18 under Middleton.
UWL finished 16-11 overall and 9-5 in the WIAC in Middleton's first season in 2016-17. The Eagles recorded their most overall (16) and conference (9) wins since finishing 16-10 overall and 9-7 in the WIAC in 2011-12.
The Eagles have advanced to the WIAC Championships Semifinals in each of Middleton's first two years. UWL made its first appearance in the tournament semifinals since 2011 in 2017 while earning its highest seed (second) in school history in 2018.
Five All-WIAC honors have been earned under Middleton's tutelage at UWL, including three in 2017-18. Elise DeNoyer was named to the 2017-18 All-WIAC First Team while Dani Craig and Delaney Schoenenberger were selected honorable mention. DeNoyer was named the WIAC Player of the Year and earned D3hoops.com All-Central Region First Team honors. She is the second player in school history to earn four all-conference honors, joining Mackenzie Hunter. DeNoyer and Hunter are the only players in UWL history to be named the league's player of the year.
MaKenzie Miller and DeNoyer were selected to the 2016-17 All-WIAC Team.
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.
“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.
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 third season as an assistant women’s basketball coach at UW-La Crosse in 2018-19. She also works in the admissions office.
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.
Carly Sprouse starts her second season as an assistant women’s basketball coach at UW-La Crosse in 2018-19.
Sprouse comes to La Crosse from Kennesaw State University in Atlanta, Ga. where she served as the Director of Basketball Operations for the women’s basketball program from 2016-17. At KSU, Sprouse oversaw the program’s travel, equipment, scheduling, academic planning, budgeting and game day operations.
Prior to that, Sprouse was an intern for the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA). As a Convention Logistics intern, she assisted with organizing and implementing the WBCA National Convention that is held in conjunction with the women’s basketball Final Four Tournament. The convention is held for all women’s basketball coaches at each level to come together and learn from several classes/meetings, key note speakers and on-court demonstrations.
Before her internship, she served as the Director of Program Development at UNC Asheville in Asheville, North Carolina where she oversaw the program’s travel, equipment, on-campus recruiting and scheduling.
Sprouse earned her bachelor degree from the honors college in business administration sport management at Western Carolina University in 2015. While earning her undergraduate degree at Western Carolina, she worked for current UW-La Crosse head coach Karen Middleton and the women’s basketball team as a student manager and later transitioned into the Director of Basketball Operations where she oversaw the program’s travel, equipment, film and assisted with on-campus recruiting and summer camps.
Sprouse is originally from Waynesville, North Carolina.
Alyssa Clemment is in her second season as an assistant women's basketball coach at UW-La Crosse in 2018-19. A native of Westby, Wisconsin, Clemment was a four-year letter winner for the Eagles from 2012-17.
She earned her bachelor's degree in sport management from UWL in spring 2017 and is currently attending Winona State University (Minn.) pursuing her master's degree in Leadership Education: Sport Management.
Bobbi Vandenberg enters her first season as a volunteer assistant coach at UW-La Crosse in 2018-19.
Prior to coming to UWL, Vandenberg was the head basketball coach at Viterbo University (Wis.) from 1993-2018. During her time at Viterbo (Wis.), Vandenberg led the V-Hawks to two appearances in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) National Tournament advancing to the Sweet Sixteen in 2001. Vandenberg guided the V-Hawks to two regular season conference championships and two conference tournament championships. At the time of retirement from Viterbo (Wis.), Vandenberg was 15th on the active NAIA women’s basketball coaches wins list with 318.
Vandenberg, a native of Denver, Colo., was head coach at Boulder (Colo.) High School from 1982-87 and from 1988-1992. She compiled a 182-28 record there and won Colorado girls state basketball championships five times. A 2017 Colorado High School Activities Association Hall of Fame inductee, Vandenberg was named Denver Post Coach of the Year five times.
A three-year letter winner in basketball at the University of Colorado, Boulder, Vandenberg graduated in 1982 with degrees in Biology and Biochemistry while earning a teaching certificate in secondary science.
Vandenberg and her husband, Joe, live in La Crosse and have two children, Patrick (24) and Mollie (22).