Dr. Kregg Einspahr, head coach
Dr. Kregg Einspahr enters his 21st season as Head Coach for the Concordia University Men’s and Women’s Track & Field and Cross Country programs in 2012-13. During his career, his teams have consistently been at the top of the Great Plains Athletic Conference and NAIA national standings.
Coach Einspahr led the Concordia women's cross country team to Nationals for the 17th time in the past 18 years during the 2011 season. The Bulldogs placed 17th overall, marking the 17th top 20 finish at Nationals for the Concordia women in the past 18 years. Sarah Kortze had an outstanding junior season and finished as a 2011 All-American. The Concordia women were second at the 2011 GPAC Championships, while the Bulldog men finished third. Kortze, Jena Schwalenberg and Ben Sievert all picked up All-GPAC honors for the 2011 Bulldogs.
Einspahr then guided his 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. A total of 27 Bulldog athletes qualified for the 2012 NAIA Outdoor Track and Field Championships, where the Concordia women recorded a 15th-place finish.
Following the 2011 cross country season, lists of the top NAIA women's and men's cross country programs were created based on best finishes at the NAIA National Championships. Concordia was listed eighth in top all-time programs and second in top current programs on the women's side. The Concordia men's program was selected eighth in the list of top current programs.
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 Champion Runner-up. Over the past 12 years, Einspahr’s teams have been NAIA National Champion Runner-up six times in track or cross country. 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 & field team also won the conference championship, splitting the title with Doane.
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. Recently, he was named 2008 and 2009 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 and 2010 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.
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 2009 and 2010, the Concordia Track & Field Teams had more NAIA Scholar-Athletes (Academic All-Americans) than any school in the conference or national association.
Kregg and his wife, Suzanne, reside in Seward with their son, Jackson. Kregg enjoys biking, hiking, fishing, reading, and gardening.
Contact Coach Einspahr
- 402-643-7333 (office) • Kregg.Einspahr@cune.edu
Ed McLaughlin, assistant coach (throws)
Ed McLaughlin enters his 16th year as a member of the Concordia University track and field coaching staff in 2012-13, serving as an assistant coach and working with the throwers.
McLaughlin has coached 53 individual nationals qualifiers, 37 All-Americans, eight national champion runner-ups and 20 GPAC champions. In addition, school throwing records have been broken 21 times in McLaughlin's tenure as coach.
In 2012 the Concordia throwers earned seven All-American honors, two GPAC titles, and the women's hammer record was broken by two different athletes. During indoor, sophomore Jamie Crouse won the GPAC 20-pound weight throw by a meter and earned All-American honors. Freshman Brittany Erdmann also earned indoor All-America honors in the shot put.
During outdoor, senior Sara Retzlaff broke the school hammer record to earn third place and All-America honors in the hammer throw. Jamie Crouse, who had the school record in hammer, earned another All-America honor, this time in the hammer. Senior Lauren Eickemeyer won the GPAC shot put title and followed that up with an All-American performance in the shot put. Also in the shot put, Brittany Erdmann earned her second All-American honor.
During 2010-11, Corbin Jones finished as the national runner-up in the weight throw during the indoor season. Derek Rodine was the men's GPAC Champion in the shot put, while Lauren Eickemeyer was the women's GPAC Champion in the shot put. In the outdoor season, Jones finished as an All-American in the weight throw. Jones also was the GPAC Outdoor Champion in both the discus and hammer throw.
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.
Contact Coach McLaughlin
- 402-643-7397 (office) • firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark Samuels, assistant coach (sprints, hurdles, jumps)
Mark Samuels enters his sixth season as an assistant coach for the Concordia University track and field program in 2012-13. 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
- 402-309-0142 (cell) • Mark.Samuels@cune.edu
Nick Mann, assistant coach (jumps)
Jason Berry, assistant coach (pole vault)
Jason Berry has helped with the Concordia Track and Field program for many years, working primarily with pole vault.
Berry attended Concordia University from 1989-94. 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 1995-98, Berry was an assistant coach at Illinois Wesleyan University. During that time, he helped with the pole vault and decathlon. He coached six NCAA DIII National Qualifiers and three DIII All-Americans in the pole vault. He also coached one DIII National Qualifier in the decathlon during his career at Illinois Wesleyan.
From 1999-2007, Jason was a volunteer assistant coach and meet official at Concordia University. During those years, Berry helped coach seven NAIA National Champions and dozens of All-Americans and Conference Champions.
Since 2001, Berry has been a volunteer pole vault coach at Seward High School. He's coached 12 State Qualifiers and seven State Medalists during that time.
Since returning to Concordia in 2008, Jason has helped coach 14 NAIA National Qualifiers and six NAIA All-Americans. Berry has also helped with the Concordia University Pole Vault Camps since 1999.
Berry lives in Seward with his wife Julie and three sons; Cole, Dalton and Chase.
Suzanne Weeder-Einspahr, assistant coach (distance)
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, assistant coach (throws)
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.