Henschel bids farewell to UW-W

Goodbyes are always tough and for UW-Whitewater, the university had to say goodbye to head coach Greg Henschel this past week.

Henschel, who coached both the men’s and women’s soccer programs since 1999, has accepted a job as the head coach of the UW-Milwaukee women’s soccer team.

Coach Greg Henschel leaves UW-Whitewater after coaching here for 13 years. He will take over as head coach for the UW-Milwaukee women’s soccer team. Photo submitted.

Henschel, who grew up in the Milwaukee area, said he has loved everything about UW-Whitewater the last 13 years, but couldn’t pass up on this opportunity.

“It’s pretty exciting and it’s obviously a unique opportunity,” Henschel said. “From my end I wanted to explore a different professional avenue. I’ve grown up in the Milwaukee area so I’m pretty excited about that.”

Although taking a head coaching job at a Divison-I school would seem like a no-brainer, Henschel said the decision was hard because he has so much love for UW-Whitewater.

“That was the difficult part of the decision,” Henschel said. “I had a lot of passion for this campus and for the job I’ve done here. It’s a hard thing to walk away from. I know the kids who are returning, I know the alumni that have come through. I just have a lot of passion for all of these people.”

Henschel said the coached he’s had a chance to work with have also made the decision difficult.

In 13 seasons as head coach of both teams, Henschel has racked up a combined 290 victories, 11 NCAA Tournament berths and earned three coach of the year honors.

On the men’s side, Henschel led the Warhawks to 10 NCAA-Tournament appearances, including four final fours. His ’Hawks have also won the WIAC in all three seasons (WIAC started sponsoring men in 2009 season).

He also turned the women’s program around by earning its first ever NCAA Tournament bid this last fall. He also helped the Warhawks win its first WIAC Championship in 2010.

Leaving a Division-III school to coach at a Division-I school could be a bit scary as Henschel said he is battling emotions of both nervousness and excitement.

Although Division-I is a higher level, Henschel said he doesn’t think of it that way.

“It’s not so much the change of level, going from Division-III to Division-I,” Henschel said. “I think I’m more nervous about the change of environment.

“College sports is college sports. People want to compete to win and you have athletes and coaches that work with discipline. I tried to incorporate those factors in Whitewater and that would be my intent in my next job.”

With Henschel leaving, it opened up an opportunity for assistant coach Ryan Quamme, who was recently named the new women’s soccer coach.

Athletic Director Paul Plinske said UW-Whitewater will no longer have one head coach for two programs and will focus on each team having a new coach.

Henschel said Quamme, who worked for Henschel the last four years as his assistant, said he should bring success as the new head coach.

“I think he will do really well,” Henschel said. “I’ve been fortunate to have great assistants in all my thirteen years I’ve been here. [Quamme] has been a great support to me. We’ve created a great friendship and a great working relationship. He’s earned it and has worked hard for it.”