Athletic department survey: how they got here

Athletic department survey: how they got here

Members of the Concordia athletic department were recently emailed a survey asking for some biographical information as well as some thoughts on their college careers and how and why they ended up in Bulldog athletics. Some chose to share great memories from their college playing careers and the most rewarding aspects of working at Concordia and in college athletics. Head athletic trainer Randy Baack always has great stories!

Here are the responses from the survey:

● Randy Baack, Head Athletic Trainer
Hometown: Columbus, Ind.
Alma Mater: Concordia University, Nebraska (1987): Education-Secondary Math & PE; Indiana State, (1996): Master’s in Athletic Training
Sports played in college: Baseball (four-year letter winner)
Favorite pro sports teams: Cincinnati Reds (The Big Red Machine of the 70s), Indianapolis Colts
Favorite college memory (sports or otherwise): Favorite College Memories: 1. Playing in the marching band for football games and pep band for men’s basketball games. 2. Kicking a tennis ball around the streets of Seward like a golf course (got yelled at by the cops many times to get off the street) (lost many tennis balls down the sewer drains). 3. Making popcorn and watching Barney Miller. 4. Watching scary movies in the dark storage rooms in the science building – that is spooky with all those jars of body parts/critters. 5. Coming back from Lincoln late at night in my sister’s car and at the last second seeing a black cow in the road. Crushed the front of the car. Killed the cow. The farmer was mad at us for killing his cow……which was in the road….at night……..  My sister’s roommate worked at Brommer (the dining hall at that time). On Friday nights they would grill steaks. We hung a sign up over the grill “we kill it, you grill it”. Ever since then cows have stayed out of my way.
Athletic achievement you are most proud of: Favorite Baseball Memory: We were playing a baseball game at UNK. It was the first game of a double header. I had a 2-2 count. I then proceeded to foul off numerous two-strike pitches to stay alive in the at-bat. Their coach was standing at the entrance to the dugout and yells out to his pitcher something to the effect of “throw the ball by him, he can’t hit it.” I don’t usually get ticked off, but I could not believe he said that. I glanced his way and then promptly hit the next pitch over the left-center field fence. I still remember rounding third and looking at him with a smile. I don’t remember the rest of the day. I probably struck out every time, but it didn’t matter. I only hit two home runs in my college career. That was the sweetest. Weirdest: I was a first baseman. However, I pitched the most innings of anyone on the team my freshman/sophomore years. I did not pitch in high school. Best Headline: “Baack Limits Comets (St. Paul) to 4 Runs on 11 Hits.” Best Skilled Achievement: Knocking badminton birdies out of the rafters in PE gym with tennis balls. Takes precision. Accuracy. Patience.
What convinced you that you wanted to pursue a career in athletics? I love to watch and play sports. I was considering a career in Physical Therapy but did not like to be stuck in a room all day. Athletic training gets me out and about. 
Most rewarding part of being involved in college athletics? Watching athletes/coaches be successful. 
Most influential person(s) in your career advancement? Bill Bean, Head Athletic Trainer at the University of Utah.
What makes Concordia a special place to work at? The coaches, athletes and colleagues as well as the dedication to providing a quality Christian education along with successful athletic programs. I think we still have some work to do with getting everyone on board with our mission, but we are moving in the right direction.
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Patrick Daberkow, Football Defensive Coordinator
Hometown: Madison, Neb.
Alma Mater: Concordia University, Nebraska
Year Graduated: 2006
Degrees: BS Education, Masters of Education           
Sports played in college: Football
Favorite pro sports teams: CJ Rust’s Kick-Start my Heart All Stars (former semi-pro basketball)
Favorite college memory (sports or otherwise): Playing football, celebrating wins and rooming with teammates.
Athletic achievement you are most proud of: Coaching all-conference players
Most rewarding part of being involved in college athletics? Getting to be around the players on our team and pushing them to reach common goals.
What makes Concordia a special place to work at? The players that come in and work hard. Seeing them stick it out and grow as men and as leaders is rewarding.
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Stacy Dahlkoetter, Assistant Athletic Trainer
Hometown: Grant, Nebraska
Alma Mater: Concordia University, Nebraska
Year Graduated: 2010
Degrees: Bachelors of Science in Biology from Concordia; Masters of Arts in Athletic Training from University of Nebraska-Omaha
Favorite pro sports teams: Denver Broncos!
Favorite college memory (sports or otherwise): Friendships that I established here and continue to hold on to today.
What convinced you that you wanted to pursue a career in athletics? Observing the athletic training staff for four years as a student worker in the athletic training room. I loved that athletic trainers were hands on and were right there when an injury happened.
Most influential person(s) in your career advancement? Aaron Madsen, ATC helped to steer me into the profession and continues to be a mentor for me as an NSATA chair. Masa Takaiwa, ATC peeked my interest in manual therapy and showed me manual therapy techniques that I could potentially pursue.
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● Frank Greene, Head Softball Coach
Hometown: Grand Island, Neb.
Alma Mater: Wayne State College, 1970: BAE; Colorado State University, 1972: MAT
Sports played in college: Pool, bridge and Intramurals (including fastpitch softball)
Favorite pro sports teams: Denver Broncos, Kansas City Royals
Favorite college memory (sports or otherwise): Bridge marathons with buddies on the forensic team
Athletic achievement you are most proud of: Team – Concordia softball winning GPAC conference titles in 2005 and 2008 and the GPAC Tournament in 2007
Personal – 12 years old and winning the City Little League Championship in Grand Island in 1960 (Sox 2 - Giants 1) …Pitching a one-hitter in the championship game…striking out 16 and going 2-for-2…hitting a home run and scoring both runs.
Most rewarding part of being involved in college athletics? Lasting relationships.
Most influential person(s) in your career advancement? Tim Preuss (Former Concordia softball coach and former Athletics Director at Concordia, Irvine).
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Amy Harms, Director of Strength & Conditioning/Assistant Women’s Basketball Coach
Hometown: Collinsville, Ill.
Alma Mater: Concordia University, Nebraska
Year Graduated: B.S. 2003, M.S. 2004
Degrees: B.S. in secondary education-P.E. & Biology, M.S. in Education- emphasis in sport administration
Sports played in college: basketball, tennis
Favorite pro sports teams:  St. Louis Cardinals
Favorite college memory (sports or otherwise): Too many to specify, in general – road trips, games with teammates, hanging out with friends; rated No. 1 in the NAIA Division II women’s basketball poll, pulling into Hastings College (rated top five or 10 in the NAIA) parking lot before the game to see a line of people waiting at the door to get in when they opened up for the game. When we played them at home, there were so many people there that they had to stop letting people into the building. 
Athletic achievement you are most proud of: Being a part of a team that enjoyed much success in the win-loss column, especially an undefeated GPAC season and 33 straight wins, and had fun and maintained a high academic standard while doing it.
What convinced you that you wanted to pursue a career in athletics? I love striving for improved performance. There is always something to learn and do better. I enjoy participating in almost anything active.
Most rewarding part of being involved in college athletics? I love getting to know athletes and their families and being a small part of their life journey as they mature. Also, you get to meet new ones each year and see the ones you’ve worked with develop on their own after they leave CU.
Most influential person(s) in your career advancement? Micah Parker and Todd Voss, both of my basketball coaches at CUNE. The hard work and dedication they exhibited was contagious. The value of faith and family was evident, as well as the value of each player as an individual. I played for Todd and then was a graduate assistant for him. The opportunity to learn from him is something I really valued, as well as the encouragement he gave me as a developing coach. I have the utmost respect for both of them.
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Benny Hanaphy, Graduate Assistant Men’s Soccer Coach
Hometown: Kilkenny, Ireland
Alma Mater: York College
Year Graduated: 2010
Degrees: K-12 P.E. and 7-12 Secondary English.
Sports played in college: Soccer
Favorite pro sports teams: Newcastle United
Favorite college memory (sports or otherwise): Getting my degrees with my parents over to see it all happen.
Athletic achievement you are most proud of: Becoming the first men's soccer NAIA All-American for the York men's soccer program.
What convinced you that you wanted to pursue a career in athletics? I've always loved being active. Since I was four I've been kicking a ball around and as I got older I knew I wanted to keep playing at a high level. When the chance of a soccer scholarship in America was presented to me, I didn't hesitate to accept.
Most influential person(s) in your career advancement? Probably the two soccer coaches I had in the soccer prep course I took to get over to America, Danny Crowley and Jim Conroy. They are fantastic coaches, but also held us all to high standards academically and personally. They were always consistent, showed a passion for their work and would do anything they could to help you out. They're great role models for what coaches should be.
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James Ingrahm, Graduate Assistant Tennis Coach
Hometown: St. George, Barbados
Alma Mater: Ouachita Baptist University
Year Graduated: 2012
Degree: B.S. in Business Administration Management
Sports played in college: Tennis
Favorite pro sports athletes: Rafael Nadal, Saul "Canelo" Alvarez, Georges St. Pierre, Lance Armstrong and Mikko Salo 
Favorite college memory (sports or otherwise): 2012 – the year we won conference and regionals.
Athletic achievement you are most proud of: Placing third at an international judo competition after only training for four weeks and being 20 pounds lighter than everyone else.
Most rewarding part of being involved in college athletics? The opportunity to have a positive impact on this important stage in the kids' lives. The lessons we teach them, they'll carry with them always.
What makes Concordia a special place to work at? The people. Period.
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Jake Knabel, Sports Information Director
Hometown: Dubuque, Iowa
Alma Mater: University of Iowa
Year Graduated: 2010
Degrees: Bachelor’s in Journalism and Health & Sport Studies
Favorite pro sports teams: Chicago Bears and Chicago Cubs
Favorite college memory: I went to the Orange Bowl in Miami my senior year in 2010 when the Hawkeye football team defeated Georgia Tech. I got to go with my best friends who I shared many of my best college memories with.
Athletic achievement you are most proud of: Started more games than any other player and batted roughly .350 on my sophomore baseball team at Dubuque Hempstead High School. My athletic career pretty much went downhill from there, thus why I focused more on the coverage of sports than actually playing them.
What convinced you that you wanted to pursue a career in athletics? I obsessed over sports at a young age. I quickly realized I wasn’t going to make it as a pro athlete and I knew I couldn’t just work in a cubicle all day. Covering athletics is something I’ve always wanted to do, and the passion and energy of college athletics can’t be beat.
Most influential person(s) in your career advancement: There have been several that have emerged in the past few years, namely Jerry Hanson, the Sports Information Director at Clarke University in Dubuque. He helped me find my way when I felt lost after college graduation. And certainly my parents (John and Janet) have always been huge supporters. My involvement with my father’s semi-pro baseball team – the Key West (Iowa) Ramblers – gave me practical experience that serves me in my current role. I also appreciate being able to bounce ideas and questions off of Paul Kirk, current SID at Colorado State University.
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Marty Kohlwey, Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach
Hometown: Grafton, Wis.
Alma Mater: Concordia University, Nebraska
Year Graduated: 1983
Degrees: BS in Theology and Physical Education with Coaching Emphasis and Master’s in Family Life Education
Sports played in college: Basketball
Favorite pro sports teams: Green Bay Packers!
Favorite college memory (sports or otherwise): Playing for the Bulldogs
Athletic achievement you are most proud of: Junior and senior year we had very good teams. The success the 1981-82 and 1982-83 teams experienced in defeating some of the teams in the area that had used us as a door mat previously. Also winning CIT in 1983.
What convinced you that you wanted to pursue a career in athletics? I felt God had given me ability in basketball and the chance to use it to reach players with the love of Christ.
Most rewarding part of being involved in college athletics? The relationships with colleagues and players. Seeing the development physically, emotionally and spiritually. Road trips and meals together. Striving and working together for a common goal through discipline and chemistry and then reaching those goals – especially when you exceed expectations.
Most influential person(s) in your career advancement? My father, Wayne Rasmussen (my college head coach for three years) and Herman Glaess (my college advisor).
What makes Concordia a special place to work at? Jesus Christ. The fact He is here is why there is a strange attraction to this place. The relationships that come from our relationships with Him are what make this place special. The quality of the alumni, the elderly professors and coaches that still want to be here and encouraging those of us who have taken their place. That concern and care is contagious.
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Daneen Kovar Theye, Head Dance & Cheer Coach/Athletics Business Coordinator
Hometown: Seward, Neb.
Alma Mater: University of Nebraska- Lincoln
Year Graduated: 1999
Degree: B.F.A. Dance
Favorite pro sports teams: Kansas City Royals
Favorite college memory (sports or otherwise): Being part of a PBS documentary working with the Orange Grove Dancers in Chattanooga, Tenn.
Athletic achievement you are most proud of: Being the 1999 recipient of the Anne and William Porter Award for Creativity in Dance.
Most rewarding part of being involved in college athletics? Being able to work with and learn about the students on my team.
What makes Concordia a special place to work at? Concordia is family.
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Scott Mattera, Head Volleyball Coach
Hometown: Monroe, Mich.
Alma Mater: University of Toledo
Year Graduated: 2001
Degree: Bachelor’s of Business Administration - Finance
Sports played in college (if applicable): volleyball
Favorite pro sports teams: Detroit Tigers, but more of a college guy – GO BLUE!!!!
Favorite college memory (sports or otherwise): Election night for SGA president…we won!
Athletic achievement you are most proud of: Beating the No. 8 team in the country – University of Michigan – when I was an assistant at Toledo.
What convinced you that you wanted to pursue a career in athletics? It was the area of my life that the Lord was blessing the most.
Most rewarding part of being involved in college athletics? Seeing my athletes grow not only as players but as people.
Most influential person(s) in your career advancement? Mark Rosen – University of Michigan; Denise VanDeWalle – Bowling Green
What makes Concordia a special place to work at? Most of the people are here for a greater purpose than a career or a pay check. We truly care about the mission and the young people that come to us!
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Drew Olson, Head Women’s Basketball Coach
Hometown: Omaha, Neb.
Alma Mater: The Concordia University, Nebraska
Year Graduated: 2003
Degrees: B.A. Mathematics, Minor in Business Administration. Master’s in Physical Education with emphasis in Coaching (from University of Nebraska-Omaha)
Sports played in college: Basketball, tennis
Favorite pro sports teams: Tottenham Spurs, Los Angeles Lakers, New York Yankees, Dallas Cowboys (definitely on the fence with Cowboys and Lakers, not liking the direction they are going)
Favorite college memory (sports or otherwise): 2003 GPAC Tournament championship game – packed house against Dordt. Huge snowstorm. Went into OT. Played all 45 minutes. Mom, dad and brother were there to see it. (Concordia defeated Dordt 90-82).
Athletic achievement you are most proud of: Team making it to elite eight my senior year. Biggest heartbreak, too.
What convinced you that you wanted to pursue a career in athletics? My dad coached. I knew when I was five I was going to be a basketball coach.
Most rewarding part of being involved in college athletics? The players. I love seeing them learn, grow, become better players, better people. Just how fun they are to be around them. I am aging, but I still feel like I am close to 20 because of them.
Most influential person(s) in your career advancement? My brother. (Drew’s brother Jarrod is the current head women’s basketball coach at California Baptist University).
What makes Concordia a special place to work at? The people and what the school stands for.
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Mark Samuels, Assistant Track and Field and Cross Country Coach
Hometown: Born in Helena, Mont. Grew up in Littleton, Colo.
Alma Mater: “THE” Concordia University, Nebraska
Year Graduated: 2004
Degree: Bachelors of Science in Business Administration
Sports played in college: One season cross country, four seasons of track and field
Favorite pro sports teams: Denver Broncos!!!! Not pro but Colorado Buffalo football is a longtime favorite. I know they’re bad but the future is bright.
Favorite college memory (sports or otherwise): Competing in college track and field on the same team as my “then future” wife. All my national track meet trips are also cherished memories.
Athletic achievement you are most proud of: 2004 600 meter fourth place and indoor All-American after coming back from numerous injuries; 2004 4x400 meter relay making finals at the outdoor national championships and finishing seventh.
Most rewarding part of being involved in college athletics? The student-athletes that make up our team. The opportunity to make an impact on so many lives on an everyday basis is a blessing. Seeing the joy when someone performs well knowing the sacrifice and discipline it takes is extremely rewarding.
Most influential person(s) in your career advancement? Head Coach Kregg Einspahr. He took a chance and gave me an opportunity to run in college when I was looking for a new school and a new start. He then was willing to hire me as an assistant and give me the opportunity to coach at the college level.
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Devin Smith, Director of Athletics
Hometown: Rockford, Illinois
Alma Mater: Concordia University, Nebraska
Year Graduated: 1992
Degrees: BA – Sport Management (Major) Commercial Art (Minor); MA – Sport Administration, Teaching Certificate – Business & Physical Education
Sports played in college (if applicable): Basketball, track and field
Favorite pro sports teams: None
Favorite college memory (sports or otherwise): Building friendships with Bulldog teammates
Athletic achievement you are most proud of: Running the Rockford Marathon
What convinced you that you wanted to pursue a career in athletics? Love the personal connections that are built with kids of all ages who desire to live out dreams that were created in driveways, sandlots, and back yards.
Most rewarding part of being involved in college athletics? Watching people grow in their relationships through the expectations only found while participating on successful athletic teams.
Most influential person(s) in your career advancement? Close friends Jeff Giamalva and Pam Blume.
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Dana Vote, Head Wrestling Coach
Hometown: Gilmore City, Iowa
Alma Mater: Buena Vista University
Year Graduated: 2007
Degrees: Exercise Science, Sports Management
Sports played in college (if applicable): Wrestling
Favorite college memory (sports or otherwise): Being a part of the team at Buena Vista that took fifth at National Duals (NCAA Division III).
Athletic achievement you are most proud of: Every All-American I coach. There is no greater feeling of accomplishment then knowing you helped someone reach their goals.
What convinced you that you wanted to pursue a career in athletics? I love competition.
Most influential person(s) in your career advancement? Mark Schwab has been a very big influence in my life and the sport of wrestling. (Schwab coached Dana at Buena Vista and currently serves as an assistant wrestling coach at the University of Northern Iowa. Schwab was an All-American wrestler at UNI in the late 1980s).
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Jason Weides, Head Men’s Soccer Coach
Hometown: Kearney, NE
Alma Mater: Concordia University, Nebraska
Year Graduated: 2002
Degree: BFA Graphic Design
Sports played in college: Soccer
Favorite pro sports teams: St. Louis Cardinals, Kansas City Chiefs, any soccer team on TV (mostly English Premier League)
Favorite college memory (sports or otherwise): Too many to count. College was a fun time. Great friendships are what I remember most.
Athletic achievement you are most proud of: In general, helping to grow the CUNE soccer program (both as a player and as a coach). Going undefeated at home (9-0 in ‘00) as a player and as a coach (8-0 in ’11). Being a part of the three most winning seasons in CUNE history (one as player and two as a coach). Upsetting some top ranked teams at the time including Bellevue, Hastings, Park, Bethel (TN) and Grand View. Being selected all conference a couple times as a player was a nice achievement as well.
Most rewarding part of being involved in college athletics? Too many to pinpoint. Really enjoy shaking a player’s hand after his last game and after his graduation. Also, getting to know them over the course of their careers and watching them grow and mature. Overcoming obstacles as a team.
What makes Concordia a special place to work at? Mostly the people and the environment. There were great people that impacted my life as a student here at CUNE. This is what brought me back to want to work here initially. The people who work here desire to impact people’s lives and are genuinely vested in seeing those around them succeed.
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Vance Winter, Head Football Coach
Hometown: Miller, S.D.
Alma Mater: Dakota State University
Year Graduated: 2002
Degrees: BS Physical Education MINOR: History- Dakota State
Sports played in college: Football and Baseball
Favorite pro sports teams: Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Vikings
Favorite college memory (sports or otherwise): 1998 shutout of Black Hills State for homecoming.
Athletic achievement you are most proud of: Being a part of a program turnaround at DSU and sticking it out when a lot of people didn’t.
What convinced you that you wanted to pursue a career in athletics? I am passionate about the game and I love competition of it.
Most influential person(s) in your career advancement? My parents, my defensive coordinator in college (Monty Roe), my head coach in college (Scott Hoffman) and Coach Courtney Meyer (Concordia head football coach from 1990 – 2008).

12 June 2013