Honors and Awards
Paul Klempa recently completed his 20th season as the Nebraska bowling assistant head coach, while his association with the program dates back to 1992. After a collegiate career in which he earned All-America honors as a senior in 1994, Klempa remained in Lincoln and was hired as the Huskers' assistant coach in 1997.
During his tenure as a coach at Nebraska, Klempa has helped guide the Huskers to seven national championships - including back-to-back NCAA titles in 2004 and 2005, and NCAA championships in 2009, 2013 and most recently, 2015. Klempa has tutored numerous bowlers who earned All-America honors during their careers and 12 student-athletes who went on to represent various national teams.
Klempa served as interim head coach for the Nebraska bowling team for much of the 2013-14 season, while head coach Bill Straub recovered from a medical issue. Klempa led the Huskers to a pair of tournament titles and a No. 2 national ranking. He also helped guide the Huskers to their 11th-straight NCAA Championship appearance.
“I thought he did a great job,” Straub said. “He gives me a great supporting cast. It helps me think better when I need it. Paul didn't have that option (that season). He had to make the main decisions on his own. Week after week, it is taxing.”
“I think Coach grew more by having more responsibility,” Straub added. “He not only had his own duties, he had most of mine to boot. I think that is a growth period, and he performed admirably.”
Klempa helped guide Nebraska to its fifth NCAA title in 2015. Liz Kuhlkin was named the National Collegiate Bowler of the Year, while Julia Bond was named the Most Outstanding Bowler in the NCAA Championship.
In 2016-17, Klempa guided Nebraska to a national runner-up finish, as the Huskers made the NCAA championship match for the fifth-consecutive season. NU won four tournament titles in 2016-17 and finished second at four other events, including the NCAA Championship. Bond earned first-team All-America honors for the second-consecutive season, while Mason earned her third-straight third-team All-America award. Kelly Belzeski and Meghan Straub were both honorable-mention NTCA All-American for the Huskers in 2016-17.
In the 14 years that the NCAA has sponsored bowling, Nebraska is the only program to have qualified for the NCAA Championship in every season.
A native of Johnstown, N.Y., Klempa graduated from Nebraska in 1994 with a degree in psychology. He owns several 300 games and 800 series in his decorated career and has represented Nebraska in the U.S. Open and is also a State Match Game champion. Klempa and his wife, Leanna, reside in Lincoln and have two sons, Jake and Carter.