Concordia University Chicago
Track & Field Camp of Champions
Head Track and Field Coach Matt Beisel
Matt Beisel has coached four seasons as head coach of Concordia Chicago's track and field program and two seasons as assistant coach for cross-country.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed working to build Concordia’s track and field program,” states Beisel. “I believe that this is an exciting time to come to Concordia, given the campus community’s desire to see all of their athletic programs progress. Our recruiting is paying off, and God has blessed us with another huge recruiting class that greatly increases last season's team size, and with some great talent to back up the numbers."
Beisel coached track and cross-country and taught science for seven years at Lutheran High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. During that time, the school won three state championships in cross-country, placed as high as third in the state track championships, earned numerous all-state honors and produced individual state champions in the high jump and long jump.
This past season, after his first full year of recruiting, the women's team won the Northern Athletics Conference Indoor Championships and placed third at the Outdoor Championships, narrowly missing first place by only four points after nearly finishing in last place the year before. The men's team placed sixth at the Indoor Championships and fourth at the Outdoor Championships, both huge improvements from previous years. Beisel was awarded the NAC Women's Coach of the Year for both Indoor and Outdoor Track for the teams' accomplishments.
Beisel's solid reputation for recruiting has begun turning into a concrete reality, and he is pleased with how his philosophy has meshed perfectly with Concordia’s mission and values. “It is very natural and easy to speak with passion and conviction about something when I believe in it,” notes Beisel. “Concordia is committed to spreading the word of Jesus Christ through preparing its students for a life of service to others, and that philosophy is one that I share whole-heartedly. The people I have spoken with at Concordia, both in athletics and administration, are committed to moving in the right direction, and I am elated that I am a part of this effort.”
Beisel’s work in Little Rock included developing a “feeder” program for fifth through eighth grades at the local elementary and middle schools, and has created similar opportunities for young athletes in the Oak Park-River Forest area through the Concordia University Chicago Track & Field Camp of Champions as well as individualized personal coaching. He has also found a number of opportunities to help local junior high and high school coaches with ideas and practical advice related to coaching. Beisel recalls, “The collegiate coaches in Arkansas reached out to me in much the same way that I am now able to reach out to our grade-school coaches, and I have enjoyed building similar relationships with coaches in the Chicago area by serving them in any way I am able."
Beisel was a standout track and cross-country athlete at Concordia College in Seward, Nebraska, earning all-conference, all-district, and NAIA national qualifier status as a distance runner. He graduated in 1992 with degrees in biology and art. He earned a Master’s degree in science education from the University of Iowa in 1997.
Beisel and his wife Jill have a seven-year-old daughter, Keegan and a son, Jonah, who was born on Jan. 23, 2010.