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Concordia Athletics wins fifth all-time GPAC All-Sports Championship Trophy

By Jacob Knabel on May. 20, 2024 in Athletic Announcements

2023-24 GPAC All-Sports Trophy Standings

SEWARD, Neb. – Concordia University, Nebraska Athletics has returned to the top of the GPAC. As announced by the league office on Thursday (May 9), the Concordia Bulldogs Athletic Department has claimed the 2023-24 Great Plains Athletic Conference All-Sports Championship Trophy. This marks the fifth time since the GPAC was formed that Concordia Athletics has seized the conference’s all-sports trophy. The department also reigned supreme in the GPAC during the 2002-03, 2004-05, 2014-15 and 2021-22 academic years and appeared poised to do the same in 2019-20 before the COVID-19 shutdown.

Director of Athletics Devin Smith presides over a department that in 2023-24 has celebrated six total conference championships while placing 15 different teams within the top four of the GPAC standings. GPAC championships in 2023-24 were won by baseball (regular season and postseason), men’s basketball (regular season), women’s indoor track & field, women’s outdoor track & field and volleyball (regular season). The runners up were women’s basketball, women’s cross country and women’s soccer. Smith oversees an athletic administrative office featuring Associate Athletic Director Angela Muller and Assistant Athletic Director Levi Calhoun.

Smith broke the news of the all-sports championship to members of the athletic department during a special luncheon on Thursday. In an impassioned speech, Smith thanked coaches and staff for their dedication to their specific roles. Said Smith, “I’m so proud of each and every one who contributed to Concordia University, Nebraska earning the distinction of 2023-24 GPAC All-Sports Trophy Champions. I extend gratitude to our athletes, coaches, staff, alumni and supporters who make it possible for us to enjoy the successes that have come our way. All of you have played a part in allowing us to live out our mission and vision, which extends beyond the championships. Here in the Bulldog Nation, we share a pursuit to be uniquely and boldly different in recruiting, relationship building and performance. We work each day being persistent in the moment and patient over time to create an athletic department this campus, community and alumni base can be proud of. We give glory to God for the many blessings we enjoy in Bulldog Nation.”

The success at the conference level has extended to the national stage. During 2023-24 athletic year, Concordia has qualified teams/athletes for national championships in the sports of baseball, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s indoor and outdoor track & field, women’s indoor and outdoor track & field, volleyball, wrestling, shooting sports, powerlifting and weightlifting. Many of these same teams have been ranked highly in NAIA national polls/ratings. Especially noteworthy, the volleyball program rose to No. 1 in the NAIA for the first time in its history. In addition, women’s indoor track & field brought home a third-place NAIA national championship trophy.

Individually, Concordia athletes have brought a national spotlight upon Bulldog Nation. To name a few highlights in 2023-24, Joey Grabanski broke the NAIA all-time home run record, Zach Zohner won the NAIA indoor pole vault national title, the women’s 4x800-meter relay took home an NAIA national title, Rylee Ladd shattered the female collegiate bench press record for her weight class and Evan Fukuhara seized a USA Weightlifting national championship. Many others have earned status as All-Americans and GPAC All-Conference award winners.

The GPAC’s all-sports standings were also broken down between men and women. Concordia ranked No. 1 in the GPAC in the women’s standings and tied with Northwestern for first in the men’s standings. Concordia has finished either first or second in the all-sports standings in eight of the past nine years.

GPAC Championships won in 2023-24

·        Baseball Regular Season & Postseason

·        Men’s Basketball Regular Season

·        Women’s Indoor Track & Field

·        Women’s Outdoor Track & Field

·        Volleyball Regular Season

Concordia teams that placed fourth or better in 2023-24

·        Baseball – T-1st

·        Men’s Basketball – T-1st

·        Women’s Indoor Track & Field – 1st

·        Women’s Outdoor Track & Field – 1st

·        Volleyball – T-1st

·        Women’s Basketball – 2nd

·        Women’s Cross Country – 2nd

·        Women's Soccer – 2nd

·        Men’s Cross Country – 3rd

·        Men’s Soccer – 3rd

·        Softball – T-3rd

·        Women’s Tennis – 3rd

·        Men’s Outdoor Track & Field – 3rd

·        Men’s Indoor Track & Field – 3rd

·        Football – T-4th

Concordia all-time GPAC All-Sports Trophy finishes

2023-24 – 1st
2022-23 – 2nd
2021-22 – 1st
2020-21 – 2nd
2019-20 – No standings (Concordia was in first place after winter sports were completed)
2018-19 – 2nd
2017-18 – 6th
2016-17 – 2nd
2015-16 – 2nd
2014-15 – 1st
2013-14 – 4th
2012-13 – 6th
2011-12 – 4th
2010-11 – 7th
2009-10 – 6th
2008-09 – 6th
2007-08 – 5th
2006-07 – 5th
2005-06 – 5th
2004-05 – 1st
2003-04 – 3rd
2002-03 – 1st
2001-02 – 2nd
2000-01 – 3rd