Morrissey and Rich selected as Concordia's 2012-13 Athletes of the Year

Morrissey and Rich selected as Concordia’s 2012-13 Athletes of the Year

SEWARD, Neb. – Colin Morrissey (Omaha, Neb.) and Katie Rich (Tilden, Neb.) have been tabbed Concordia’s 2012-13 Male and Female Athletes of the Year, as voted upon by athletics department staff. Concordia awards a Male and Female Athlete of the Year annually to outstanding senior graduates who have finished their collegiate athletic careers.

“These individuals represent excellence on and off the playing surfaces,” director of athletics Devin Smith said. “Both Colin and Katie exemplify positive character traits in terms of leadership, citizenship, commitment and work ethic that fully exhibit the ideals of our university. These two student-athletes are the epitome of competitors who have influenced their coaches, teammates, peers and opponents in a positive manner.”

Rich, Concordia’s 2012-13 Female Athlete of the Year, earned a laundry list full of accolades while starring on the hardwood for head coach Drew Olson’s elite women’s basketball program. Rich drove opposing offenses mad with her relentless defensive pressure and received GPAC Defensive Player of the Year honors as both a junior and senior.

She led the Bulldogs to three national tournament appearances, including a national semifinal finish in 2012. Rich helped fuel the 2011-12 team, along with last year’s Female Athlete of the Year Amber Kistler, to GPAC regular season and tournament titles.

“Katie was an outstanding athlete,” Olson said. “Dominant in basketball. Versatile in track. She was a tremendous leader for our team. Her will to win kept our program at an elite level. I am so proud to have coached her. She was a perfect role model for what a Concordia coach would want. She was humble, competitive, hardworking, a positive leader, compassionate and a Christian example for others. Katie pushed for the team to take the Guatemala mission trip in 2011. I am so glad our players and coaching staff were able to be impacted by Katie for four years.”

In 124 career games, Rich amassed 1,293 points, 653 rebounds, 265 steals and 233 assists, making her one of only two Bulldogs to rank in the top 20 all-time in all four categories. Among other honors, Rich was a two-time honorable mention All-American, a four-time all-conference and Omaha World-Herald NAIA All-Nebraska selection and was named to the 2011-12 NAIA First Team All-Tournament squad.

Rich also contributed significantly to the track and field program as she qualified for the 2012 NAIA Outdoor Track and Field National Championships in the shot put and took home the GPAC heptathlon title in 2010 when she set a then school and GPAC record with 4,336 points.

Morrissey, Concordia’s 2012-13 Male Athlete of the Year, put together a career similarly as impressive as his female counterpart, Rich. Morrissey finished his cross country career in style by claiming GPAC Male Runner of the Year honors thanks to winning the conference meet. That effort powered the Bulldogs to a conference title and a berth in the NAIA Cross Country National Championships, where Morrissey made his third career appearance.

Kregg Einspahr, Morrissey’s coach for both cross country and track and field, raves about Morrissey as the total package athletically and otherwise.

“Colin was one of the hardest working and most determined athletes we have had in the Concordia track and cross country programs,” Einspahr said. “His drive motivated his teammates and lifted them to higher levels of accomplishment in practice and in meets. Colin was a tremendous leader and highly respected by both his teammates and coaches. In addition to being a tremendous athlete and team leader, Colin was a very good student, extremely responsible with a strong faith and a great friend.”

Morrissey finished his career with three all-conference cross country performances while piling up 13 all-conference finishes as a distance runner on the track. The Omaha native captured conference titles in the 3,000 meter run at the 2013 GPAC Indoor Championships and in the one mile run at the 2011 GPAC Indoor Championships. His title at the 2011 conference meet helped boost him to GPAC Male Athlete of the Meet honors.

On the national level, Morrissey qualified for three separate national championship meets throughout his time at Concordia. He finished as an All-American in the 3,000 meter run at the 2010 NAIA Indoor National Championships.

Morrissey has also earned numerous accolades for his work in the classroom. He has been a regular winner of the Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete award for cross country and track and field and this year earned the prestigious distinction as a Capital One Academic All-District 6 selection out of the College Division.

Both Morrissey and Rich are invited to attend the 2013 Concordia Athletic Hall of Banquet on Friday, Oct. 11 when they will be acknowledged as Athletes of the Year.

Zak Goodrich (baseball) joined Kistler (basketball) in receiving 2011-12 Concordia Athlete of the Year honors.


Other 2012-13 Nominees:

MALE – Porter Birtell (basketball); Beau Smith (basketball); Brandon Starkey (wrestling); Michael Voelker (football); Kenny Zoeller (football).

FEMALE – Amanda Kisker (volleyball); Nicole Mapes (softball).

24 July 2013

2012-13 Concordia Female Athlete of the Year:
Katie Rich

2012-13 Concordia Male Athlete of the Year:
Colin Morrissey