J.M. "Jake' Christiansen, head football coach for 28 years and athletic director for 23 years, and Irvin A. Christenson, director of the physical education department for 18 years and athletic director for 12 years, have been selected as the first inductees into Concordia's new Athletic Hall of Fame, according to Dr. Armin Pipho, the colleges present athletic director and department chair. The Athletic Hall of Fame will honor outstanding Concordia coaches, athletes and other individuals who have made significant contributions to the athletic program.
Jake Christiansen grew up in Northfield, Minn., where he graduated from St. Olaf College, earning letters in five different sports while there. He later received a master of education degree from North Dakota State University in Fargo.
Christiansen began his coaching career at Deer River, Minn., then became an assistant coach in Flint, Mich. In 1929 he was named head football coach at Valparaiso (Ind.) University. He joined Concordia's staff in 1941 as athletic director and head football and basketball coach. In 1964 he asked to be relieved of his duties as athletic director, but remained head football coach until his retirement in 1969.
'I coached for six years under him. It was an in- valuable experience," says Jim Christopherson, head football coach since Christiansen's retirement. "When I think of Jake, I think 'commitment to a school and to the game.' He loved football. Even while he was coaching basketball, when you sat down with him, he'd want to talk football!"
The highlight of Chris- tiansen's career was probably the Cobbers' 1964
season, which culminated in their winning the National Association of Inter-
collegiate Athletics cham- pionship and his selection as NAIA Coach of
the Year. He was later voted into the NAIA football Hall of Fame. In the
28 years under Chris- tiansen, the Cobber football team had only one losing
season. Christiansen ended his final season with 197 career wins, making
him the winningest active collegiate football coach in the nation at the
Irv Christenson also grew up in Northfield, where he received his bachelor of arts degree from St. Olaf College in 1933. Subsequently he earned his master of education degree from the University of Minnesota.
Christenson began his professional career teaching and coaching at Story City (Iowa) High School from 1934 to 1937 and at Tiptin, Iowa, 1937-42. He taught physical education in Wichita Falls, Texas, and Park Rapids and Fergus Falls, Minn. Christenson came to Concordia in 1946 as the director of the physical education department. In 1947 he was given a six-month leave of absence to serve in the Divi- sion of Physical Education at the Minnesota State Department of Education. In 1964 he succeeded Jake Christiansen as athletic director and chairperson of the athletic department, where he remained until his retire- ment in 1976, completing 30 years of service to the col- lege. In addition to the leadership he gave the department, he is well remembered as the manager of Minnesota District 23 and Region 6 high school basket- ball tournaments for more than 20 years.
According to Christopher- son, " Irv was the man who laid the groundwork for Concordia's strong physical education department."
In speaking of their selection, Pipho says, "These two men were the logical candidates for the Hall of Fame because they were the most instrumental in making the Concordia athletic depart ment what it is today.
The two men will be honored at halftime during this year's homecoming game, Oct.11, and again at a banquet following the game.
New head hockey coach named
Stephen Baumgartner '82, a standout hockey player now serving as the
sports program technician for the city of Regina, Saskatch ewan Can ada
has been named the new head coach of
Baumgartner the Cobber hockey team.
Baumgartner takes over the position from Al Rice, who has had the top
slot for the past 18 years.
"We are excited about Steve's taking over the pro- gram," Pipho said. "He was a great player for us who demonstrated sound leader- ship qualities at that time. I am confident these same qualities will be evidenced in his coaching.
"We are also appreciative of the years of service Al has given to the
hockey pr gram," Pipho continued "and we are pleased he will be involved
with the pro gram as the assistant coach
Rice said that after 28 years as coach, 18 of them at Concordia, he felt the time was right to get some addi- tional help for the hockey program."
During his four-year hockey career at Concordia, Baumgartner was named to the MIAC team each year. During the 1980-81 season, he set two records - one for tallying the most goals in one season 36) and one for scoring the most points in a single season (57).
Following graduation with a bachelor's degree in physical education and health, Baumgartner was drafted by the New York Rangers, where he played one month prior to returning to Regina. "1 was 25 years old then," Baumgartner ex- plains, "and the Rangers wanted someone younger. Since I didn't want to play in the minors, I went home."
In addition to his work as sports program technician, Baumgartner has
been the coach and a player on the Moose Jaw Generals, which won the Canadian
Senior Championship this year.
Baumgartner and his wife, Lori (Lanning) '82, have one child, Jenna Marie.
Cobber athletes top survey
Triggered by the attention focused on low academic achievement of many athletes in large universities, The Forum newspaper in Fargo, N.D., surveyed local colleges for the graduation statistics of male athletes eligible for financial aid.
Results of the survey, published in the July 7, 1986, issue of The Forum, showed Concordia at the top, with a 97.7 percent graduation rate between 1981-85. Of 180 senior male athletes, 176 graduated dur- ing that time, and one of those who didn't is in school and expects to finish.
Although not included in the survey, Concordia's women performed even better, graduating 66 out of 66 senior athletes during the same period, for a 100 per- cent graduation rate, accord- ing to athletic director Dr. Armin Pipho.
Also surveyed were North Dakota State University, from which 147 of 173 seniors graduated, for 84.9 percent, and Moorhead State University, with 86 of 136 graduating, for a graduation rate of 63.2 percent.
Concordia's high standing in graduation rates does not surprise the atltletic staff. "We've known it all along," says head football coach Jim Christopherson. "At Concurdia, athletics are important, but our priority is education. If we got below thc 90th percentile, I would be very disturbed. We would have to re-evaluate what we're here for."
Track teams have all-conference, all- American performers
Concordia's women's track - and field team had an out- standing year, according to coach Douglas Perry, with the team finishing second in the MIAC. Four athletes were named all-American and 26 all-conference.
Named all-American were seniors Cynthia Bogatzki Bertha, Minn., placing fourth nationally in the discuss competition, and Pamela Olsgaard, Barnesville, Minn., sixth in the nation it) the 400-meter dash; and soph- omores Tammy Krell, Vern- dale, Minn., who finished eighth nationally in the 400-meter hurdles, and Mary Line, also from Verndale, who placed fifth nationally in the heptathalon.
All-conference women tracksters were seniors Bogatzki; Dawn Lexvold of Kenyon, Minn.; Olsgaard and Julie Olson, both of Buffalo, Minn.; sophomores Michelle Jolie of McFarland, Wis.; Krell; Heidi and Sue Licke, both of Deer River, Minn.; Line; Ann McKenna of Moorhead; and Susan Ness of Fergus Falls, Minn; and freshmen Kristin DeBoer of Pine Island, Minn.; BethEllickson of Burnsville, Minn. and JoLynne Erickson of Ada, Minn.
DeBoer had an excellent showing at the MIAC meet, winning both the long jump (5.24m) and the triple jump I10.86m). Olsgaard was named the meet's most valuable athlete after setting a new conference record of 56.46 in the 400-meter dash. Coach Perry said, "It was a tremendous year for the women. We certainly will miss our graduating seniors, but we have a young team and will be looking forward to next year.
According to Perry, the men's track team was hampered by injuries, but still managed to finish seventh in the conference with 10 men named all-conference.
Those men named all- conference were senior Daniel Hauer of Perham Minn.; juniors Michael Bouressa, Fergus Falls, Minn.; Douglas Haugen of øFort Collins, Cob. and Stephen Schmitz of Bloom- ington, Minn.; sophomores Jonathan Faust of Harwood, N.D.; Jay Jorgenson of Detroit Lakes, Minn. Mark Lingle of Park Rapids, Minn. and James Lundstrom of Fargo, N.D.: and freshmen Brian Bruns of Walker, Minn.; Gregory DeFor of Bloomington, Minn.; Dennis Kashmark of Kandiyohi, Minn.; and Mark Olson of Newport, Ore.
Smiles and hugs were plentiful during the MIAC track meet held at Concordia
May 9-10. The women~s team -j finished in second place while the
men came in seventh in MIAC standings.
Tennis teams are fourth in MIAC
The men's and women's tennis teams both finished in fourth place in the MIAC. Coached by Robert Nick, the men finished the season with a 5-3 conference record and 12-4 overall.
Daniel Vandersteen '87, No.1 singles from Fargo, N.D., was named to the MIAC all-conference team after an impressive showing in the MIAC conference tournament, where he ad- vanced to the final round before being defeated by a top-seeded player. He fin- ished the season with a 13-5 record overall, including post-season play.
In singles and in doubles, Tom Ness '87, Fergus Falls, Minn., with partner Todd Webb '87, Fargo, won the consolation championship of the MIAC tournament after losing in the first rounds of play.
Coached by Dr. Bernice Pavek, Concordia's women 5 tennis team ended the season with a record of 5-2 in conference play and 15-3 overall.
Julie Gilbertson '87, No 1 singles from Fargo, advanced to the NCAA Division III national tournament Kalamazoo, Mich., wh she won her first round but was eliminated after losing the second in three sets. She finished the year with a record of 18-2, including post-season play.
Her teammates, Barbara Brunsdale '88, Mahnomen, Minn., and Amy Olson 89 Willmar, Minn., were the first doubles team from Con cordia ever to advance to the NCAA Division III tou ment. They were eliminated in the first round of competi tion when they lost to the top-seeded team. They finished with a 15-3 overall record, including post-season play. Tania Thielman '89, Jamestown, N.D., No.6 singles, also had an im- pressive year with an overall record of 18-3.
Sluggers end with 14-4 record
Concordia's baseball team finished second in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Conference with an overall record of 18-13 and a conference finish at 14-4.
Hampered by a slow start, including the loss of six out of seven games in a March tournament, the Cobbers rallied to win 15 of their last 16 games. St. Thomas won the MIAC title and finished second in NCAA Division III Midwest regional play.
According to Coach Don 'Bucky" Burgau, four Concordia players - outfielders Eric Jacobson '86, Bloomington, Minn., and Greg Toivonen '86, Starbuck, Minn., and pitchers Doug Kovash '86, Fargo, N.D., and John Riewer '86, Staples, Minn. - were named to the All-MIAC team. Jacobson, Kovash and Riewer were also named to the Midwest regional team. Jacobson finished the season with a .453 batting average to give him seventh place in the MIAC, while Toivonen finished in 17th place with a .385 average. Joel Smith '87, Phoenix, Ariz., finished with a batting average of .435. Kovash finished the season with an earned-run average of 2.74, the seventh best in the league, and a 5-2 win-loss record. Riewer was voted Most Valuable Player by his teammates at the end of the season.
Jacobson finished the season with a .453 batting average to give him
seventh place in the MIAC, while Toivonen finished in 17th place with a
.385 average. Joel Smith '87, Phoenix, Ariz., finished with a batting average
of .435. Kovash finished the season with an earned-run average of 2.74,
the seventh best in the league, and a 5-2 win- loss record. Riewer was
voted Most Valuable Player by his teammates at the end of the season.