Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Where are they Now? Stephanie Rempe
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: March 21, 2007
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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From "Bear Down" to "Boomer Sooner," Stephanie Rempe's athletic career has been an interesting and often spectacular adventure.


The former University of Arizona volleyball player is the Associate Athletic Director and Senior Woman Administrator at the University of Oklahoma.


She's also a member of the Norman Running Club and is a serious distance runner whose resume includes six marathons. 


"I'm training for an ironman in September in Oklahoma City," Rempe said in a telephone conversation from her OU office in Norman.


It's amazing that she has time to train for anything, considering her responsibilities at Oklahoma.


She oversees women's basketball, softball and volleyball, men's and women's cross country, indoor and outdoor track, men's and women's gymnastics, (men's) wrestling and the Sooner athletic department's strength and conditioning program.


"I'm gone a ton," Rempe said, "especially this time of year."


It was with mixed feelings that she discussed the recent two-game sweep by the Sooners over Arizona at the Judy Garman Softball Classic in Fullerton, Calif.


Oklahoma defeated the Wildcats 6-2 in the first meeting, and then routed UA 11-0 in the championship game of the tournament.


"I think it was the first time since 1996 that Arizona had been run-ruled," Rempe said. "But I love Mike Candrea (UA head coach) and his program."


It wasn't the first time the Sooners rained on Arizona's softball parade.  In 2004, when Candrea was away coaching the U.S. Olympic team, Oklahoma defeated the Cats, 3-2, in the NCAA Regionals here at Hillenbrand Stadium.


Louisiana-Lafayette then bounced UA out of postseason play, 5-0.


Rempe has seen a lot of the Wildcat softball team at the College World Series in Oklahoma City.  "It's always neat to see the Cats play," she said.  "Last year, while they were winning their -- what? -- seventh national championship, Rocky came to my house and we had lunch.  That was very special to me."


Rocky, of course, is Rocky LaRose, Arizona's senior associate director of athletics.


Stephanie, from Santa Barbara, Calif.., enrolled at Arizona in 1990 and wound up playing under two head coaches, Rosie Wegrich and Dave Rubio.


"I was Rosie's first walk-on," she said. "I played two years under Rosie and two under Dave."


Stephanie experienced one of the great turnarounds in the program's history.  "We went 0-18 (in the Pacific-10 Conference) my sophomore year," she said, "and two years later, under Dave, we went to the Sweet 16."


Her most memorable experience at UA? That's easy.


"Hands down, it was beating UCLA at McKale Center my senior year," she said.  "I'm very proud of my volleyball experience at Arizona.  Rosie gave me the opportunity to play and eventually I earned a scholarship.


"Then, after some 'down' years, we beat Stanford and UCLA and went to the Sweet 16," she said.


In her senior year, the Cats finished 20-11 overall, 11-7 and tied for fourth in the Pac-10.  They beat Lamar and Arizona State in the NCAA Tournament before losing to Brigham Young in the Sweet 16.


Rubio had nothing but good words for the Sooner SWA.


"Stephanie was originally a walk-on, but I was fortunate enough that she was here when I arrived," he said.


"She turned out to be a two-year starter and we went to the Round of 16 my second year.  We had a tremendous finish that year and Stephanie was a big part of it.


"I knew she had great skills, not only on court.  She was driven to be successful in any endeavor she chose,” Rubio said.  “She had great people-skills, articulated well and she was a fighter.  She'd come into the office and occasionally we'd have disagreements.  The important thing was, Stephanie was not afraid to stand up for what she believed in.  That's a good trait."


She graduated from Arizona in 1993 with a major in business.  Two years later, she earned a master's degree in athletic administration.


"I interned at UA in the summer of '93," Rempe said.


"Then, starting in January of '94 through the summer of '95, I was on the staff.  I went to work for Gayle Hopkins (UA associate athletic director) in 1995."


In July 1998, Rempe accepted the position of Senior Woman Administrator at Texas-El Paso.  She served at UTEP for five years.


She joined the Oklahoma athletic department in the same capacity, as well as associate athletic director, in July 2003.


In addition to the programs she oversees, Rempe is the liaison for the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and worked to create the first National Girls and Women in Sports celebration in 2004.


In the Norman community, Stephanie is a member of the Junior League of Norman, was a participant in the 2003-04 Leadership Norman class, a member of the President's Associates, the University Women's Association, the Oklahoma Chapter of the National Football Foundation and the Sooner Stilettos.


Sooner Stilettos?


"When I first got here," Rempe said, "Sherri Coale, the OU women's basketball coach, had a wonderful idea for a women's support group for her program,"


"She wanted women around the team who could be role models for the players.  We now have doctors, lawyers, bankers, teachers, and community leaders -- even the lieutenant governor and the wife of the university president."


The Sooner Stilettos organization was chartered in November 2003 to involve the women business and community leaders with Oklahoma women's basketball.


"It's a great organization of successful women who can support and encourage our women's basketball program," Rempe said.


The Sooner Senior Woman Administrator, still a Wildcat at heart, does a good job of that, too.