2018 Track and Field
Head Coach Karen Brandt
Contact Information for Coach Brandt
Office phone: 419-358-3898
Coach Karen Brandt has been an integral component in the upswing in the cross country and track and field teams’ accomplishments. Since taking the reins in the autumn of 2011, Brandt has guided the teams to consistent improvement, and in some cases, unprecedented success.
Both the men’s and women’s cross country teams have reached third place finishes in the team aspect of the HCAC championship meet after perennially placing near the bottom of the field prior to her arrival. Additionally, Bluffton’s first-in-school history individual men’s conference champion was crowned at the 2014 meet.
On the track and field side of the equation, Brandt has assembled a high quality staff of assistant coaches, all accomplished in their own rights as athletes, and now bringing passion and expertise to their respective event groups.
To date, over 70 times track and field school records have fallen under Brandt’s watch. Individual conference champions have become common occurrences. All-Ohio champions and All-American performances at the indoor and outdoor NCAA Division III national championships have highlighted the accomplishments of the past two years. Of equal importance are the academic accolades Brandt’s athletes have garnered at both the conference and national level during her tenure.
Brandt previously coached the Bloomsburg (Pa.) University women's cross country team to the NCAA Division II national championship meet in 2007 where they placed 15th after having won both the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) and the NCAA Division II East Region championships, earning Brandt conference and regional coach of the year honors. That team included the first female cross country All-American in school history. During her decade at Bloomsburg (1999-2009), she helped to develop three other all-Americans, two in the women's 10,000-meter run and one, two-time honoree in men's cross country; four national cross country championship qualifiers; eight female qualifiers for the national track and field championship; eight PSAC track champions; and numerous All-PSAC and All-Region cross country runners, All-Conference track athletes, and All-Academic individuals and teams honored by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
After leaving Bloomsburg, Brandt coached at Indiana Tech in Fort Wayne (2009-2010) and was subsequently an English and mathematics teacher in a residential program for girls in Warfordsburg, Pa. Her year-plus at Indiana Tech produced 35 NAIA national qualifying performances and seven all-American finishes in two indoor track seasons; 17 national qualifiers and seven all-Americans in one outdoor track season; and one male national qualifier in one cross country season.
Brandt earned both her undergraduate in Humanities and her Master's in American Studies from the Pennsylvania State University Capital College, Harrisburg, Pa. A five-time qualifier for the Boston Marathon, Brandt has also coached track and cross country at Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pa., from 1998-99, and at Lower Dauphin High School in Hummelstown, Pa., from 1991-97. From 1989-98, she taught English and public speaking at Elizabethtown (Pa.) Area High School.
Brandt resides in Bluffton along with her husband/co-coach, Jim Brandt, and their family of three cats.
Assistant Coach Jim Brandt
Contact info for Coach Jim Brandt
Office phone: 419-358-3031
James Brandt coaches alongside his wife, Karen Brandt, the head cross country and track and field coach at Bluffton University. During their coaching tenure at Division II Bloomsburg University (Bloomsburg, PA), the Brandts saw much success with the distance-based program of the Huskies.
As the distance/middle distance track and co-cross country coach along with Karen, Brandt has had the pleasure of seeing the distance squad grow and prosper under their direction. Theirs is a close coaching relationship of shared responsibilities and a symbiosis of ideas and direction for their runners. Their collective love of running and coaching comes through in the enthusiasm for their athletes that they share.
In addition to his Bluffton athletes, Brandt also currently coaches a female post-collegian who first started running for him as a 9th grader at Lower Dauphin High School. She competes primarily at the marathon distance with accolades including the 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials, the World Military Games, national cross country championships and both the Boston and Marine Corp marathons. A member of the Air National Guard, she often represents the regular Air Force and was named the 2011 Air Force Female Athlete of the Year.
Along with his wife, Brandt has set his sights on developing the Bluffton University cross country and track and field teams into a perennial power in the HCAC. Also former teacher, he will work to motivate their student-athletes toward top academic success as well.
Assistant Jared Krout - Sprints/Hurdles
Contact info for Coach KROUT
Office phone: 419-358-3031
Cell Phone: 419-957-5639
Jared Krout enters his second season at Bluffton University as an assistant coach for the track and cross country team.
Krout, a 2006 Arlington High School graduate, was an 8-time All-Ohio athlete in track and field. He then competed at Hillsdale College as a sprinter and long jumper. He was a 10-time conference champion in the GLIAC and was named NCAA Division II Great Lakes Regional Track Athlete of the Year in 2007 and 2008. Throughout his career, Krout was a 6-time All-American athlete in a combination of the 200m, 400m, and long jump. He still holds outdoor school records in the 400m (46.69) and long jump (25'-2.75") and the indoor school record for 200m (21.85) at Hillsdale.
Following graduation, Krout became an assistant track & field/strength & conditioning coach for Hillsdale and worked with the sprinters and hurdlers. While at Hillsdale, the sprints and hurdles established school records in the men’s 60m hurdles and women’s 100m hurdles. They also produced national qualifiers in the men’s 400m dash and women’s 100m hurdles and 400m hurdles.
In 2014, Krout joined the Liberty-Benton High School Track & Field coaching staff as an assistant boys coach and worked with the team's sprinters, hurdlers, and jumpers. Then, in 2015, he was appointed head coach of the girls' track & field program at Liberty-Benton High School. From 2014-16, the sprints and jumps produced 18 state qualifiers, five school records, five individual state championships, and the girls’ Division II state record in the 100m. As head coach, he also guided the girls program to back-to-back OHSAA Track & Field State Championships in 2015 and 2016.
Krout earned a Bachelor's of Science degree in physical education from Hillsdale College in 2010. He is also an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and he has his Track and Field Technical Coaching certification through the USTFCCCA. He is also pursuing his master's degree at Bluffton and lives in Findlay with his wife, Circe.
Assistant Coach Jason Fisher - Throws
Jason Fisher enters his fifth season at Bluffton University as an assistant coach with the Track and Field program. Fisher brings an impressive array of honors to his position working with the University's throwers.
Fisher, a 2006 graduate of Parkway High School, was a three-sport athlete, participating in football, basketball and track and field. He is the school record holder in the shot put and discus at Parkway and earned OHSAA All-Ohio honors in the shot put. A Bluffton University graduate (2011 - Sports Management), Fisher holds five of the program's school records: Indoor shot put 50' 6.25" and weight 56' 2.5"; outdoor shot put 53' 0.75"; discus 151' 2"; and hammer 179' 9". He was named Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) All-Conference all four years as a Bluffton track and field athlete and was named 2nd Team All-HCAC in football during his sophomore year. In 2007, Fisher was named the HCAC Track & Field Freshman of the Year; he was the 2008 HCAC Discus conference champion; the 2009 Hammer champion; and 2010 HCAC Hammer and Shot Put champion, earning him that year's HCAC Field Athlete of the Year award. On the national level, Fisher was a multiple national championship provisional qualifier: 2009 indoor shot put and outdoor hammer; 2010 indoor weight as well as outdoor hammer and shot put.
Prior to this season, Fisher coached three years (2011 to 2013) as an assistant for the throwing events at Parkway. From 2012 to 2013 he was also the high school junior varsity boys basketball coach.
Fisher resides in Rockford and is employed at the Fremont Company.
Assistant Coach Keri McCoy - Jumps
Keri (Hilty) McCoy is entering her seventh season at Bluffton as an assistant coach with the Track and Field program. Coach McCoy works with a variety of track disciplines, including the hurdles, jumps and sprints.
McCoy, a 2003 Bluffton High School graduate, was a seven-time OHSAA All-Ohio honoree in both individual and relay events (800 meters, high jump, 4 x 400 and 4 x 800) and was runner-up in the 800 meters in her senior year with a time of 2:15.54. As a Cedarville University (2008 - Exercise Science) athlete, McCoy continued to excel. In 2004 she was the American Mideast Conference champion at 800 meters and she also qualified for both the indoor and outdoor NAIA national championships in the high jump. In 2007, McCoy produced her career best time at 800 meters (2:10.96) placing second in the NAIA Outdoor National Track and Field Championships. Throughout her collegiate career, McCoy was a seven-time All-American athlete in a combination of individual and relay events, placing among the top eight finishers at the NAIA national championship meets: three times indoors at 600 meters; one time outdoors at 800 meters; one time indoors in the 4 x 800 meter relay; one time indoors in the 4 x 400; and one time outdoors in the 4 x 400.
McCoy started her coaching career at Bluffton High school in 2008, working with the cross country program and saw immediate success with a boy's regional qualifier in both 2008 and 2009. In 2009 McCoy worked as a graduate assistant at the University of Findlay where she coached jumpers and produced an NCAA Division II national qualifier in the high jump. She joined the staff at Bluffton University in 2012.
McCoy resides in Bluffton with her husband, Aric, and is employed as a personal trainer at Bluffton Family Recreation.
Assistant Coach Clint Dillon - Pole Vault
Clint Dillon enters his fifth season at Bluffton University as an assistant coach with the Track and Field program, specializing in pole vault.
A 2005 graduate of Bluffton University (Middle Childhood Education), Dillon is in the record books for the outdoor pole vault with a best clearance of 15' 11" set in 2004. He is the 2002 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) pole vault champion as well as a three-time NCAA Division III National Track and Field championship qualifier. Dillon placed 4th in the event in the 2004 national championship meet, earning him All-American status.
As a coach at Arlington High School, Dillon has coached two state qualifiers in the event, producing the 2013 Division III OHSAA girls' pole vault champion.
Dillon completed his master's degree from the University of Toledo/Bluffton University in 2010 in technology and education and currently teaches at Arlington High School as a business and technology teacher. He resides in Forest with his wife, Brittany, and their two children.