Track and Field Coaching Staff

Dr. Kregg Einspahr

Head Track and Field Coach180-Kregg_Einspahr.jpg

Alma Mater: Concordia University, Nebraska

Dr. Kregg Einspahr completed 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. His distinguished career has included a 2015 national title (men's outdoor track and field), six national runner-up finishes and 16 combined conference titles (nine cross country, seven track and field).

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 the 2015 NAIA men's outdoor track and field national coach of the year after guiding the Bulldogs to the first team national title in school history. The banner season also netted Einspahr midlands/state college coach of the year honors from the Lincoln Journal Star and Omaha World-Herald.

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 and 2015 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, four women’s track and field conference championships and three 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 finished in the top 20 nationally. 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 has coached a total of 23 track and field national championship performances. In 2015 throwers Cody Boellstorff, Zach Lurz and Josh Slechta each won an individual national title. The list also includes six-time pole vault national champion TJ Kloster and two-time 3,000 meter race walk titlist Chris Tegtmeier.

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 and 2015 the Concordia track and field teams 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

Assistant Track and Field Coach - sprints, hurdles, jumps180-Samuels_Mark.jpg

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

Mark Samuels completed 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 4x400 meter relay teams in both indoor and outdoor seasons (relay records have since been broken).

Mark resides in Seward with his wife Kari, daughter Jordyn, son Landon and daughter Aspen. 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 completed 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. He also assists with the multi-event athletes.

McLaughlin has tutored four individual national champions, 92 individual national qualifiers, 74 All-Americans, 32 GPAC champions and 12 national champion runner-ups. National titles have been captured by Cody Boellstorff (2015 hammer throw), Zach Lurz (2015 shot put), Liz King (2014 javelin) and Josh Slechta (2015 weight throw). In addition, school throwing records have been broken 25 times in McLaughlin's tenure as coach.

Lurz, named the most valuable performer of the 2015 NAIA outdoor national championships, won both GPAC shot put titles in 2015. He was the 2014 GPAC Outdoor Athlete of the Year and is now a seven-time All-American. Lurz and Boellstorff posted a combined 30 points to power the 2015 outdoor team national title. Boellstorff and Lurz, first and second, respectively, in the hammer throw at the national championships, led an impressive showing in the hammer throw in which Bulldogs placed first, second, third and eighth.

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 meet record by 15 feet. In 2015 King captured conference titles in the javelin and hammer throw. She set another meet record, this time in the hammer.

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, 10 state medalists and 17 state qualifiers during that time.
Since returning to Concordia in 2008, Berry has helped coach 43 NAIA National Qualifiers, 16 NAIA All-Americans, 10 GPAC champions and school record holder Cassie Starks (indoor/outdoor pole vault).

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.

Craig Saalfeld

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

Alma Mater: Emporia State University

The 2014-15 season marked Craig Saalfeld third 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. In 2015, Lucas Wiechman earned All-America honors in both the heptathlon (indoor) and decathlon (outdoor).

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.