Athletic Hall of Fame Inductee Liz Spletzer
Elizabeth “Liz” Spletzer is a 1964 graduate of Cleveland Lutheran High School West. Following high school, she attended Concordia Teachers College in River Forest, Illinois – now Concordia University Chicago – where she graduated with a B.A. degree in 1969. She earned her Master of Science degree from Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan, in 1972.
Liz’s teaching career includes time at Bethlehem Lutheran School in Roseville, Michigan (1967-68); Lutheran High School West in Detroit (1969-75); Mayer Lutheran High School (1975-89); and the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (1989-2009).
At Lutheran High School West, she introduced a physical education program for girls, and started and was head coach of the school’s girls basketball, volleyball, and softball programs. She brought this valuable experience in starting sports programs to Mayer Lutheran when she came in 1975.
During her time at MLHS, Liz started the girls volleyball program in 1976 and was its head coach until 1989, and started the girls softball program in 1977 and was its head coach until 1981. Her girls volleyball team was the state champion in 1982, Mayer Lutheran’s first state championship team.
During her tenure at MLHS, Liz also served as head of the physical education and health department, an instructor in physical education and health, the school’s athletic director, head coach of the girls basketball program, head coach of the girls track team, JV girls basketball coach, and head coach of the girls cross country team. She introduced one-week summer camps in basketball and volleyball for grades six to eight in 1983, and served as camp director and clinician until her departure from the school in 1989.
Her career at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, was in the Department of Kinesiology, where she served as a teaching assistant, teaching specialist, and education specialist. She was assistant to her advisor in the development of the Postbaccalaureate Initial Teacher Licensure Program in K-12 Physical Education, and subsequently served as the program’s coordinator from 1991 to 2009.
Liz also served as an instructor, academic advisor, internship supervisor, member of the Teacher Education Council representing Physical Education in the College of Education and Human Development, and as a member of various ad hoc committees during her time at the U of M.
Her professional service includes Lutheran Health and Movement Education, District 16 Representative to the Minnesota State High School Coaches Association for Girls Sports, Inc.; Secretary/Treasurer for the Minnesota State High School Girls’ Basketball Coaches Association; the Class A Representative from the Girls’ Coaches Association to the Minnesota State High League Athletic Council; Executive Board Member of the Minnesota State High School Association for Girls’ Sports, Inc.; a member of the Board of Directors of the Minnesota State High School League; Chair of the Education Committee for the Minnesota State High School League; and a presenter at the Minnesota State High School Volleyball Coaches Association Clinic in August, 1992 with her presentation “Running a Class Act.”
One of her players on the 1982 Mayer Lutheran High School championship volleyball team, Bonnie (Fasching) Sperbeck, had this to say about her coach: “I truly believe she was a coach ahead of her time, and a reason I am the coach I am is because of her and her organization, attention to detail, and her focus on not only the physical preparation but the mental preparation as well! She was – and is – a gem!!”
Liz is an active member at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Edina, MN, and has served her congregation in many and various ways during her time there. She currently serves as the president of the York of Edina Condominium Association, a position she has held since 2012.