University of Minnesota, Morris track and field coach Jeremy Karger Gatzow has been named UMAC Coach of the Year. The Cougar men won seven events at the recent Upper Midwest Athletic Conference championships and this season has broken more than 15 school records.
This is Karger's sixth season at UMM coaching track and field and cross country. Each year the teams have grown in size and competitiveness which suits his outlook just fine.
"I want our student-athletes to have fun most of all. If they have fun being competitive that's fine. If they want to be part of the team, that's fine too. As long as they enjoy [the sport], the rest takes care of itself," he says.
With the many different events of track and field, Karger and his staff (assistant coaches Amber Turnbull and Mark Van Overbeke) have a lot of ground to cover in terms of coaching.
"I spend about an hour a day reading research or talking to other coaches," Karger says. "We review training plans and get feedback from your athletes to see what's working and what's not. You have to be versatile and make plans that suit different athletes."
The UMAC championships marked the end of the indoor season with a few athletes still vying for spots in the NCAA meet in March.
In the meantime, Karger will set his sights on the outdoor season which begins March 27 at the St. John's Invitational.