Renae Hartl, Luther College director of intercollegiate athletics, has named Stephen Fleagle the college’s new head track & field coach for both men and women. Fleagle joins the Norse after serving as an assistant for Chris Hall at the University of Chicago since 2012. He will begin he new duties August 15.
Fleagle becomes the 19th head coach in Luther's 98-year history of varsity track and field. He succeeds Jeff Wettach, who retired at the end of the 2017-18 academic year after serving for 33-years as an instructor and coach at Luther.
"We are so excited to name Stephen Fleagle as the next head track and field coach at Luther College," stated Hartl. "He is bringing fantastic Division III experiences as a student-athlete and coach with him that I know will be instrumental in his team culture right away.”
Fleagle graduated from North Central College (IL) in 2008 with a degree in exercise science and a minor in wellness. He began his coaching career at North Central as a graduate assistant for women’s track and field and cross-country from 2010-12 and received his master’s in sports leadership. During his two years at North Central, the cross country team placed 16th at the national meet and the track team placed seventh in the nation outdoors in 2011.
While at the University of Chicago, he helped coach 11 athletes and 7 relays to 31 NCAA national meet appearances that led to 10 All-American honors. He coached four different women at national meets in the high jump with three competing and placing in the top half of the field at the 2018 NCAA outdoor championships. In 2014 he helped guide pole vaulter Michael Bennett to an undefeated season and a national championship at the NCAA III Indoor National Championships and a runner-up finish at the Outdoor National Championships. As sprints and jumps coach, he helped lead both the men and women to numerous University Athletic Association Conference honors and school records.
“Luther College's mission of providing balanced lives to its student body with athletics playing a pivotal role attracted me to this position,” stated Fleagle. “Under the leadership and direction of Athletic Director Renae Hartl, Luther athletics is in a position to be one of the top Iowa Conference programs and I am excited to lead the team through this next chapter.
Coach Wettach has created a legacy known for producing a sense of community within track and field and has helped develop countless quality student-athletes. I look forward to connecting with the alumni family and campus community and guide this new expedition with the Norse.”
"Stephen brings great energy and a winning spirit to the helm of the track and field programs," commented Head Cross Country Coach Steve Pasche. "Humility, enthusiasm, and a positive perspective emanates from him. Stephen's interest and sincerity in building relationships with each and every student-athlete will be a great asset as he recruits the future generations of Norse. I look forward to working with Stephen during the process of building towards championships under his leadership and partnership."