15 NCAA Div. III individual championships
PELLA — Bringing experience from four NCAA institutions, Jonathan Graupmann will join the Central College men’s and women’s cross country and track and field staff as an assistant coach.
Most recently an assistant women’s track and field coach at Texas Lutheran University this past spring, Graupmann replaces Bryan George, who recently began duties as head men’s and women’s cross country coach at the University of LaVerne (Calif.).
Graupmann is a 2007 graduate of Division III Ohio Northern University and is scheduled to receive a masters degree in December from Tiffin University (Ohio). Graupmann was a five-time Ohio Athletics Conference sprint champion and earned all-America distinction in the 4x100-meter relay in 2005. He also competed in men’s soccer for three seasons. Following graduation, Graupmann directed the Northern Kentucky Track Club for a year, while also serving as assistant track and field and cross country coach at Dixie Heights (Ky.) High School.During 2009-11, he was an assistant men’s and women’s track and field coach at Marietta College (Ohio), then spent 2011-12 as a graduate assistant men’s and women’s track and field coach at Tiffin before coaching at Texas Lutheran. He assisted with the Texas Lutheran squad that claimed the American Southwest Conference championship in May.
“The biggest thing that stood out about Jonathan was his experience,” head cross country and track and field coach Joe Dunham said. “He’s coached at a lot of schools and is a Division III guy at heart. I think he’ll be an excellent recruiter and has a lot of experience with meet management.”
Dunham said the fit is right.
“It’s important to him to be at Central,” Dunham said. “He had applied at Central previously and was very persistent. He really wants to be here. That meant a lot to me.
“Jonathan has a lot of respect for our school and our athletics program. He will be passionate about making us better.”
Graupmann has also had extensive training through USA Track and Field (USATF) and has earned USATF Level 3 certification in sprints/hurdles/relays while receiving Level 2 training in endurance events and jumps and also attaining International Association of Athletics Federations Level 5 coach distinction.
Dunham said he’s not yet sure which track and field events Graupmann will focus on at Central.
“He’s got expertise in the sprints, jumps and hurdles but he’s pretty flexible,” he said. “He’s obviously had a lot of training and knows a lot of events.”
Graupmann joins a program that is riding a long-term wave of success. In five seasons at Central, Dunham has led the Dutch to four Iowa Conference outdoor men’s track and field titles as well as three league indoor crowns, including the 2013 championship. He also piloted Central to its first-ever league men’s cross country title last fall and has taken the men’s and women’s squads to the NCAA Division III championships, where the Central men finished 13th in November. He’s coached four individual Division III track and field champions and the Dutch have three top-20 NCAA team finishes during his tenure.
Dunham is quick to credit George for playing a major role in those achievements.
“Obviously it’s difficult to lose a guy like Bryan who is so passionate about Central and about our program,” he said. “Certainly it’s a great opportunity for him to be a head coach and I have no doubt that he will do great things at La Verne. I’m grateful for all of the hard work he’s put in. He’s meant so much to our program. We would not be where we’re at right now without him.”
George, a 2006 Central graduate, all-America middle distance runner and CoSIDA Academic All-America honoree, spent five years as an assistant with the Dutch.