After spending the past 21 seasons as the programs' only head coach, Steve Travis assumes an assistant coaching role in 2015 for the Wisconsin Lutheran College men's and women's track & field teams. He also handles the head coaching duties for the men's and women's cross country teams. Travis is the NACC Outdoor Track & Field Chair.
Travis joined the Warriors in August 1993, working as coach of the cross country club team before the program gained intercollegiate status in 1994. He was the only head coach in WLC's intercollegiate track & field programs' history since it began in the spring of 1994.
Both programs have enjoyed immense success on individual and team levels. In track & field, the Warriors have established 20 or more school records – indoors and outdoors combined – during nine of the past 10 seasons.
Since the NACC began sponsoring track & field as a conference sport in 2007, Travis has guided the women's team to three runner-up finishes at the conference championships (2007 indoor, 2013 indoor and outdoor). The men's program has posted a trio of third-place finishes at the championships (2007 indoor and outdoor, 2008 outdoor). In addition, the women's team has earned USTFCCCA All-Academic honors two of the past three seasons. Travis has mentored six athletes who have received 10 major conference championship awards since 2007.
The 2012 season saw Travis Turnquist finish with the 23rd fastest 400-meter dash time in the country. Turnquist ran the race in 48.24 seconds, a time that ranked in second among freshmen across the nation.
In 2010, Travis mentored Dominique Johnson who became the first student-athlete in WLC track & field history to qualify for the NCAA Championships. Johnson placed 10th in the triple jump at the indoor championships, before returning to the outdoor championships and finishing one spot shy (ninth) of earning All-America honors in the same event.
The 2010 season marked the first time that a Warriors women's cross country student-athlete qualified for the NCAA Division III Cross Country Championship. Junior Katie Schommer, who earned NACC Runner of the Year honors twice, placed 47th out of 279 at the event. Schommer's time at the NCAA Midwest Regional (21:49.6) was the fastest 6K time in conference history. She also set a NACC Championship record with her time of 22:23.4.
Two years prior in 2008, Zach Shiels became the first runner in Wisconsin Lutheran men's cross country history to qualify for the NCAA Division III Championship, placing 24th overall in a field of 280 runners at the NCAA Division III Midwest Regional.
The men's and women's cross country teams each finished second during the 2005 Lake Michigan Conference Championships, the best finish ever for the men after having finished third in each of the previous seven seasons. The women posted no lower than a second-place finish in the LMC for six straight seasons (2000-2005). Travis, who coached the women's team to LMC titles in 2002 and 2004, was named LMC Coach of the Year each of those years.
Individually, Travis has coached six conference champions in cross country. Chase Robles (2014), Marya Haegler (2012), Katie Schommer (2011, 2010), Zach Shiels (2008), Tim Koepsell (2002, 2003, 2005), who was the first male student-athlete in LMC cross country history to win three titles, and Rebecca Porinsky (2001).
A 1993 graduate of UW-Whitewater, Travis earned his degree in physical education with an emphasis in corporate fitness. He was a wide receiver for two seasons with the Warhawks football team, earning freshman MVP honors before turning his focus to the track as a middle distance runner where he was the teams mid-distance MVP four consecutive seasons and a three-time All-American. In 1992, Travis won the 800-meter title during the NCAA Division III Track & Field Championships held at Colby College (Maine) with a time of 1:50.68. He was Whitewater's first-ever national champion in track & field. Travis was inducted into the UWW Athletic Hall of Fame on October 25, 2008.
After college, he competed for five years as a track club member at UW-Milwaukee. Travis was invited to race at the Kansas Relays three times (best showing a third-place finish in the 800 meters in 1996) and the Drake Relays once (a seventh-place finish in 1998). He also raced in the 800-meter qualifying open three times at the Mt. Sac Relays in California.
In 1998, Travis placed seventh at the 1998 U.S. Indoor Championships with an 800-meter time of 1:49.44. That same year he posted his best 800-meter time of 1:48.81 while racing outdoors at Georgia Tech.
A member of the USTFCCA Awards Sub Committee and the Wisconsin Cross Country Coaches Association, Travis was born August 4, 1969, in Mobridge, S.D. He currently resides in Wauwatosa.