Ozaukee’s LeMahieu retires after 31 years as head girls’ basketball coach
Nearly four decades after working the sidelines for the first time, Lee LeMahieu has decided to call it a career.
The longtime Ozaukee High School girls’ basketball coach, who spent 31 years as head of the Warriors’ varsity program, announced his retirement Monday, March 25.
“I’ve been fortunate to have had the opportunity to coach so many fine student athletes,” LeMahieu said.
LeMahieu’s retirement caps a career in which he helped shape the lives of young people in the classroom and sports. In addition to his basketball contributions, he was a math teacher at Ozaukee High School for 33 years, coached junior-varsity football for 27 years and served as athletic director.
Since retiring from teaching several years ago, LeMahieu has continued to work as a substitute teacher at the school.
As a coach, he has overseen two generations of student athletes, amassing a long list of accomplishments.
After two years coaching JV basketball, he became head of the varsity program in 1976-77. Fifteen seasons later, LeMahieu took a five-year break from coaching to spend more time with his family while his children were in high school.
He returned to the court for the 1997-98 season and remained with the varsity team through this season, when the Warriors went 16-8.
LeMahieu led the Ozaukee girls to nine Central Lakeshore Conference titles — an average of one every three years.
Four times, LeMahieu’s teams reached the WIAA state tournament. A highlight of his career came in the 2003-04 season, when the Warriors won the Division 3 state championship and finished with a 26-0 record.
In March 2006, a LeMahieu-coached team surprised many by earning another trip to state. They finished second in Division 3 after a furious fourth-quarter rally in the title game fell just short.
Despite his place in the spotlight, LeMahieu has made a habit of giving credit to others who helped build Ozaukee’s basketball legacy.
“I’ve also been fortunate to have outstanding assistant coaches — John Nesladek, John Thill and Jeff Kaul,” he said.
“They have done a lot for the girls’ basketball program.”
LeMahieu finished his career with a 464-213 record, a .685 winning percentage. He ranks among the state’s top 20 in career wins for girls’ basketball coaches.
LeMahieu picked up his 400th victory Dec. 4, 2008, against Sheboygan Christian.
In recognition of his contributions, Ozaukee High School held a ceremony Jan. 17, 2012, dedicating its gymnasium floor as Coach LeMahieu Court.
Image Information: OZAUKEE HIGH SCHOOL girls’ basketball coach Lee LeMahieu, shown here during a preseason practice, has retired after 31 years at the varsity helm. Under his direction, the Warriors won nine Central Lakeshore Conference championships and a WIAA state title. Photo by Sam Arendt