A 1982 graduate of Azusa Pacific, Lehman returned to her alma mater in 1995 and immediately turned Azusa Pacific into an NAIA power. She guided the Cougars to 3 GSAC titles in her first 6 years at the helm and produced 10 30-win seasons, which included a pair of 50-win campaigns. In 2000, she was named the NAIA Coach of the Year after leading the Cougars into the NAIA championship game, a first for any GSAC school. In all, she took 3 Cougars teams (1996, 1997 and 2000) to Top 5 finishes at the NAIA Tournament. She steps away with an overall collegiate record of 428-195 (.687).
“Coaching has allowed me to be a part of young women’s lives for the past 20 years, said Lehman. I will miss the daily interaction, but plan to keep mentoring college women here at APU. However, God is leading me into a new season of my life, and I’m looking forward to giving my full attention to the students I teach. Young people will always be my passion and calling.”
Lehman came to Azusa Pacific after 9 years as the girl’s softball and basketball coach at The Linfield School in Temecula, Calif. In her first year at Azusa Pacific, she turned an 18-23 team into a 34-19 squad. In the following season of 1996, she led Azusa Pacific to a then program-best 47-14 season which ended with the Cougars’ first-ever NAIA Tournament appearance. The Cougars went one step further the next season by posting a 51-11 record and again finishing fifth at the NAIA Tournament. In 2000, the Cougars returned to the NAIA Tournament and finished as the national runner-up with a program best 53 victories. At one stretch in Lehman’s coaching career, Azusa Pacific won 108 of 138 games.
Lehman, who was a 3-time GSAC Coach of the Year, coached 9 NAIA All-Americans and 31 All-GSAC players, including 8 player-of-the-year honorees.
A search for Lehman’s replacement will be conducted by Azusa Pacific director of athletics Bill Odell.