Track and Field Coaching Staff

Dr. Kregg Einspahr

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Alma Mater: Concordia University, Nebraska

Dr. Kregg Einspahr entered his 23rd season as head coach for the Concordia University men’s and women’s track and field and cross country programs in 2014-15. During his distinguished career, his teams have consistently been at the top of the Great Plains Athletic Conference and NAIA national standings.

Dr. Einspahr has been named conference or regional Coach of the Year for track or cross country more than 30 times during his career at Concordia. Most recently he was named 2014 GPAC Men's Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field Coach of the Year. He also been tabbed 2008, 2009 and 2012 GPAC Men’s Cross Country Coach of the Year, 2009 and 2010 GPAC Women’s Indoor Track & Field Coach of the Year, 2009 GPAC Men’s Outdoor Track & Field Coach of the Year and 2009, 2010 and 2012 GPAC Women’s Outdoor Track & Field Coach of the Year. The United State Track Coaches Association named Einspahr as NAIA National Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year in the fall of 1999.

During his tenure, Einspahr has won nine combined GPAC cross country titles, two women’s track and field conference championships and two men's track and field crowns. Einspahr's Bulldogs broke through with the first two men's conference titles in 2014 by sweeping the GPAC indoor and outdoor titles.

Since 2000, Einspahr’s teams have been NAIA national runner up six times in track or cross country. The 2012 Bulldog men’s cross country squad, led by GPAC Cross Country Runner of the Year Colin Morrissey, became the latest cross country team under Einspahr to win the conference title.

In 2011, Einspahr guided Concordia women’s cross country to the national championships for the 17th time in 18 seasons. In all 17 appearances, the Bulldog women have gone on to finish in the top 20 in the nation. Sarah Kortze starred in 2012, becoming the next in line in a great history of Bulldog distance runners. Kortze garnered GPAC Cross Country Runner of the Year honors, finished as an All-American for the second-straight year and was named Lincoln Journal Star State College Female Athlete of the Year.

Among current NAIA cross country programs, the Concordia women are ranked No. 1 all-time, according to a scoring system developed by the NAIA Cross Country Coaches Association. The Bulldog men rank sixth among respective programs in that same point system.

Einspahr coached the women's outdoor track and field squad to a GPAC Championship in the spring of 2012 and was named the Hauff Mid-America Sports/GPAC Women’s Coach of the Year for the third time in four years. In 2013, the Bulldogs finished second at the GPAC outdoor meet (hosted by Concordia) on both the men’s and women’s sides. Fifteen individuals were All-Americans at the 2013 indoor national championships, followed by nine more at outdoor nationals.  

During 2010-11, the Concordia men’s cross country team placed 20th at Nationals. Dana Schmidt was the GPAC cross country champion, GPAC Runner of the Year and an All-American. In the indoor season, Colin Morrissey picked up GPAC Athlete of the Year honors. Several Bulldogs finished as All-Americans, highlighted by Chris Tegtmeier’s national championship performance in the racewalk and Corbin Jones’ national runner-up performance in the weight throw. Dana Schmidt was the GPAC Athlete of the Year, and Tegtmeier was the national runner up in the racewalk during the 2011 outdoor season. The Bulldog men tied for 11th at the NAIA Outdoor National Championships.

2009-10 was also a very successful year for Coach Einspahr and his teams. His 2009 men’s cross country team was GPAC champion and NAIA national runner up. The 2009 women’s cross country team finished in the top 20 at Nationals for the 16th straight year. The 2010 women’s indoor track & field team was GPAC champion, snapping a 19-year run by Doane atop the conference. The women’s outdoor track and field team also won the conference championship, splitting the title with Doane. 

A 1982 graduate of Concordia, Einspahr continued his education at the University of Nebraska where he earned his master’s degree in Biology in 1985. He received a doctorate degree (PhD) in Biochemistry and Physiology from the University of Texas in 1988. Einspahr also completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Immunology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. In addition to coaching, he serves as a professor of biology at Concordia.

While competing at Concordia, he was a six-time NAIA national champion, winning the indoor mile once and the indoor two mile twice. In the steeplechase, he was a three-time national champion and at the time, had the NAIA national record (since broken) in all three events. He also ran professionally and was ranked in the United States and world while competing in three Olympic trials.

Dr. Einspahr’s teams are known not only for their competitiveness, but also for their work in the classroom. In 2014, the Concordia track and field teams again had more NAIA scholar-athletes than any school in the conference or national association.

Kregg and his wife, Suzanne, reside in Seward with their sons, Jackson and Kieran. Kregg enjoys biking, hiking, fishing, reading and gardening.

 Contact Coach Einspahr

Mark Samuels

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Hometown: Littleton, Colo.
Alma Mater: Concordia University, Nebraska

Mark Samuels entered his eighth season as an assistant coach for the Concordia University track and field program in 2014-15. Samuels works primarily with sprints, hurdles and jumps. 

Mark has coached 62 national qualifiers, 12 NAIA All-Americans and 13 GPAC champions during his time at Concordia. He coached the 2002 NAIA Outdoor Pole Vault National Runner-Up. He also coached the 2009 GPAC Indoor and Outdoor Women’s Athlete-of-the-Year as well as the 2010 GPAC Indoor Women's Athlete-of-the-Year. 

Samuels competed at Concordia from 2001-04. He was a four-time NAIA All-American and a four-time GPAC Champion. Samuels was the 2002 National Runner-Up in the 400 meter dash at the Indoor National Meet. For his efforts, Samuels was named 2002 GPAC Indoor Men’s Athlete-of-the-Year. He holds five school records including individual indoor records in the 200 meter dash and 400 meter dash. He was also a member of record setting 4 x 400 meter relay teams in both indoor and outdoor seasons.

Coach Samuels resides in Seward with his wife Kari, daughter Jordyn and son Landon. In his spare time, Mark enjoys fishing, cycling and running.

 Contact Coach Samuels

Ed McLaughlin, Assistant Coach

Assistant Track and Field Coach - Throws

Hometown: Seward, Neb.
Alma Mater: Concordia University, Nebraska

Ed McLaughlin entered his 18th year as a member of the Concordia University track and field coaching staff in 2014-15, serving as an assistant coach and working with the throwers.

McLaughlin has tutored 65 individual nationals qualifiers, 51 All-Americans, 26 GPAC champions, eight national champion runner-ups and the 2014 women's javelin national titlist. In addition, school throwing records have been broken 25 times in McLaughlin's tenure as coach.

In 2014, the most ever throwers in Concordia history qualified for nationals (eight indoor, 14 outdoor) with six alone in the men's hammer. Jamie Crouse completed her career with four GPAC championships (three in the weight throw, one in the hammer) and six All-American awards. Javelin thrower, Liz King won the 2014 national championship by 15 feet, broke the school record by 23 feet and the GPAC record by 15 feet.

2014 GPAC Outdoor Athlete of the Year, Zach Lurz won both the shot put and discus at the outdoor conference meet and was an All-American in the shot and discus. He also broke the school record in the shot put and was the first male Concordia athlete to ever qualify for nationals in each of the shot, discus and hammer events. Cody Boellstorff broke the school record in the hammer, becoming the first Bulldog to throw over 200 feet on the way to earning two All-America awards. Stephanie Coley garnered two 2014 All-America awards in the shot put, to give her three overall going into her junior year.  

McLaughlin also assists with multi-event athletes. In 2014 Lydia Pomerenke earned two All-America awards and Sara Simmons produced one All-American effort. Both rewrote the record books at Concordia with Pomerenke becoming the official school record holder in the pentathalon and heptathalon. On the men's side, Lucas Weichman and Brandon Ramos both qualified for indoor and outdoor NAIA nationals.

McLaughlin was a four-year letter winner in both football and track at Concordia. He was the NIAC shot put champion in 1996, a six-time competitor in the NAIA Championship meet and he broke the school record in discus as a freshman. 

In football, McLaughlin played on the offensive line and earned All-NIAC honors twice for the Bulldogs. He also was a two-time All-Nebraska selection and earned NAIA Honorable Mention All-America honors in 1996. 

McLaughlin completed his bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science with a minor in Biology at Concordia University in 1998. He resides in Lincoln with his wife, Tasha, and their daughter, Clara.

Contact Coach McLaughlin

Jason Berry

Assistant Track and Field Coach - pole vault

Alma Mater: Concordia University, Nebraska

Jason Berry has helped with the Concordia Track and Field program for many years, working primarily with pole vault.

Jason attended Concordia University from 1989-1994. He was a three-time conference champion and a two-time District 11 champion in the pole vault. He qualified for nationals three times and earned Booster Club Athlete-of-the-Week honors three times during the 1993 season.
From 1995-1998, Jason was an assistant coach at Illinois Wesleyan University. During that time, he helped with the pole vault and decathlon. He coached six NCAA Division III national qualifiers and three D-III All-Americans in the pole vault.
From 1999-2007, Jason was a volunteer assistant coach and meet official at Concordia University. During those years, he helped coach seven NAIA National Champions and dozens of All-Americans and conference champions.
Beginning in 2001, he has been a volunteer pole vault coach at Seward High School. He's coached a state champion, nine state medalists and 15 state qualifiers during that time.
Since returning to Concordia in 2008, Berry has helped coach 26 NAIA National Qualifiers, six NAIA All-Americans and six GPAC Conference Champions.

Berry also organizes the Annual 4th of July Street Pole Vault competition that has been a fixture in the City of Seward’s holiday activities since 1991. He has also helped with the Concordia University Pole Vault Camps since 1999.

He lives in Seward with his wife Julie and three sons: Cole, Dalton and Chase.

Nick Mann

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Hometown: Auburn, Neb. 

Alma Mater: Concordia University, Nebraska

Nick Mann entered his third season as an assistant coach for Concordia University track and field in 2014-15. Mann continues to coach jumps and help with the mulit-event athletes.

As a Bulldog athlete from 2009-12, Mann earned all-conference honors in the long jump for both indoor and outdoor track and qualified for the national championships as a junior. He also ran the 100 and 200 meter dashes, competed in the 4x100 meter
relay and occasionally ran a leg of the 4x400 meter relay. His career best long jump mark was 23' 8."

The native of Auburn, Neb., enjoys hunting, fishing, playing basketball and walking his dogs, Ruger and Remi.

Nick earned degrees from Concordia in psychology and behavioral science. He is currently pursuing his master's in public health at Concordia.

Craig Saalfeld

Assistant Track and Field Coach - multi-events and high jumps

Alma Mater: Emporia State University

The 2014-15 season marks Craig Saalfeld second year working with multi-event athletes and high jumpers for the Concordia University track and field program.

A 2009 graduate of Emporia State University, Saalfeld earned three All-America honors. He placed second at the NCAA Division II national championship in the high jump with a personal best of 6’ 11¾”. He finished his career with school records in the outdoor high jump and the heptathlon.

Saalfeld’s coaching experience includes four years at Bishop Carroll Catholic High School in Wichita, Kan. At Bishop Carroll, Saalfeld oversaw nine state qualifiers and a state champion high jumper.

During his first season at Concordia in 2013-14, Saalfeld helped nine Bulldog mutli-event athletes qualify for the NAIA national championships with two garnering All-America status.

Saalfeld resides in Seward.

Suzanne Weeder-Einspahr, assistant coach (distance)

Assistant Coach - distance

Alma Mater: Concordia University, Nebraska

Suzanne continues to assist her husband with the cross country and track and field programs at Concordia. During the track season, she works primarily with the distance runners.

Collegiately, she was a two-time NAIA national champion, winning the indoor mile and outdoor 3000 in 1994. She continues to compete throughout the world, running in Beijing, China with the Women’s Ekiden Team in 2004.

Tasha Osten McLaughlin, assistant coach (throws)

Assistant Coach - Throws

Alma Mater: Concordia University, Nebraska

Tasha Osten is a volunteer coach for the Bulldog track and field program. She works primarily with the throws. 

Tasha graduated from Concordia in 2006 with a bachelor's in secondary education social sciences, a bachelor's in geography and a Lutheran Teacher's Diploma. She was a multi-time all-GPAC thrower for the track team and a starter on the volleyball team. 

Coach ‘O’, as her athletes call her, taught and coached at Lincoln Lutheran before returning to Concordia University to assist with the field events. In her part time, she is also a club volleyball coach. 

Tasha also works on campus as an admission counselor and lives in Lincoln with her dog, Lady.