SEWARD, Neb. – The Concordia Athletic Hall of Fame Committee has announced its selections for the class of 2018. The Concordia Athletic Hall of Fame will welcome the following members into elite company this fall: Carol Pankoke Cepak, Brandon Siefert, Mike Works, Jon Ziegler and the 2004-05 women’s cross country team. They will officially join the Hall of Fame at a ceremony held on Friday, Sept. 21 in conjunction with homecoming week on the Concordia University campus.
Carol Pankoke Cepak, ‘84
A multi-sport athlete, Carol (Pankoke) Cepak made her biggest impact on the softball diamond while starring for then head coach Eunice Goldgrabe. A stellar shortstop, Cepak led the 1984 team to a perfect 8-0 conference mark and a NIAC championship. She earned all-district and team MVP accolades as a senior. A team captain as a junior and senior, Cepak also collected second team all-district honors as a junior in 1983 when Concordia posted an 8-2 NIAC mark. In addition, she played two years of basketball and one year of volleyball during her time as a Bulldog. On the hardwood, Cepak snared 161 rebounds for an average of 8.1 per game as a sophomore on the 1981-82 squad coached by Carl Everts. That same season, the Beaver Crossing, Neb., native was named to the Concordia Invitational all-tournament team.
Brandon Seifert, ‘01
Another in a long line of star distance runners tutored by coach Kregg Einspahr, Brandon Seifert galloped to a national title in the one mile race at the 2000 NAIA Indoor Track and Field National Championships. He totaled four track and field All-America honors as part of his standout career on the track. Originally from Grand Island, Neb., Seifert continues to own the school record in the 1,000 yard run while also ranking second in the one mile and the 3,000 meters on the program’s indoor lists. He also ran the fastest split for the school record holding 4x800 meter relay in 2000. Seifert helped lead the 2000 squad to an indoor national runner-up finish. As a cross country competitor, Seifert achieved All-America status three times, placing as high as 11th at the national championships. He paced the Bulldogs to a 1997 NIAC cross country title and 11th place national standing.
Mike Works, ‘92
The point guard for Concordia’s first ever national qualifier in the sport of men’s basketball, Mike Works delivered three spectacular seasons for the Bulldogs after transferring in. Works earned a long list of honors for his play on the hardwood, raking in Lincoln Journal Star State College Player of the Year honors as a senior in 1992 in addition to twice being named first team All-NIAC. Despite playing only three seasons at Concordia, Works ranks second all-time in assists (496) and fifth in steals (194) on the program’s all-time lists. He also racked up 1,039 points over 98 career games. A two-time NAIA Scholar-Athlete, Works helped guide then head coach Grant Schmidt’s squad to national tournament appearances in 1991 and 1992. The ’92 squad rates as one of the best in school history. It won NIAC and District 11 championships and advanced all the way to the national semifinals. Works played with fellow Concordia Athletic Hall of Famers, Matt List, John Puelz and Devin Smith.
Jon Ziegler, ‘07
A Lincoln native, Jon Ziegler arrived in Seward after originally beginning his collegiate career at Concordia University, Wisconsin. He became arguably the greatest basketball player in school history. The program’s all-time leading scorer with 2,099 points, Ziegler also boasts school ranks of second in steals (223), fourth in rebounds (762) and eighth in assists (287). He also broke the program single-game scoring record in 2007 when he went off for 47 points against Sioux Falls. Ziegler earned first team All-GPAC accolades in each of his final three seasons and was awarded with NAIA third team All-America status in 2007. He starred on the 2004-05 team coached by Grant Schmidt that went 32-6 (school record for wins in a season), won the GPAC tournament and reached the national championship game. Ziegler was selected on the national championships all-tournament team in 2005. He garnered 2006-07 Concordia Senior Athlete of the Year honors. Ziegler averaged 21.3 points as a senior and 16.4 for his career.
2004-05 Women’s Cross Country
Head coach Kregg Einspahr’s 2004-05 women’s cross country squad rates as one of the best teams in school history for any sport. Led by All-American and Concordia Athletic Hall of Famer Molly Engel, the Bulldogs utterly dominated at the conference and regional levels. Concordia individuals placed in each of the first six spots at the GPAC championships and held down five of the top six place finishes at the NAIA Region IV championships. As a result, Einspahr’s crew easily won team titles at both meets. The top six finishers at the conference championships were Engel, Jennifer Nikkila, Kelly Waterman, Jacquelynn Dibbern, Michelle Quinlan and Micah Dubbs. Ranked No. 1 in the final NAIA national regular-season coaches’ poll, Concordia placed runner up at the NAIA national championships with competitors who finished ninth, 22nd, 34th, 43rd and 58th, respectively. An astounding total of 12 Bulldogs garnered all-conference accolades, four were NAIA Scholar-Athletes and Engel and Dibbern were All-Americans. Einspahr was named the GPAC and NAIA Region IV Coach of the Year.