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DWU promotes Lurz to top track coach

Dakota Wesleyan University announced Friday it has promoted Zach Lurz to head track and field coach at the school.

A decorated All-American and national champion thrower at Concordia University in Seward, Nebraska as an athlete, Lurz was an assistant coach for the Tigers in 2017-18, primarily focusing on throwing events. Coaching Tyson Jenkins to a fifth-place shot put finish at the NAIA Outdoor National Championships in May, the Tigers had their first All-American thrower in 20 years.

Lurz will replace Derik Fossum, who resigned after four seasons as the head track and field and cross country coach in May. In a press release, DWU Athletic Director Jon Hart said the university will hire a cross-country head coach before fall and that person will also assist the track program.

“We have a lot of momentum with the track team with a historical year across the board with the amount of top-10 performances, All-American finishes, and even several conference champions,” Lurz said in the release. “My goal for the team is to be one of the top performing teams in the GPAC and NAIA. We have made significant strides towards those goals, but we need to continue to improve and build upon that base.”

As a thrower at Concordia, Lurz was named All-American 17 times and was a four-time national champion in the shot put. He was a two-time NAIA National Field Athlete of the Year and was the MVP at the national outdoor championships in 2015. Lurz was also a nine-time GPAC champion, as well.

“His decorated career as a student-athlete speaks for itself and he knows how to develop and create a winning culture,” Hart said.

Born in Rapid City, Lurz is seeking his master’s degree from DWU in Sport Science and Rehab and is pursuing strength and conditioning and coaching certifications through the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association, USA Track and Field and the National Strength and Conditioning Association.