2017 Cross Country
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 women’s and men’s cross country teams have reached second and third place finishes respectively 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 followed by the first-in-school history individual women’s conference champion at the 2017 meet. In back-to-back years, 2016 and 2017, the men’s team has now seen their post-season accolades include All-Region honors for men placing in the top thirty-five of the five-state Great Lakes Regional Championship meet. Academically, the 2017 regional meet also saw a male and female athlete garner the school’s first cross country All-Academic honors by virtue of individual finish position and cumulative GPA.
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 80 times track and field school records have fallen under Brandt’s watch. Individual conference champions have become common occurrences with a total of 32 earned through the 2017 outdoor championship. Freshman of the Year and Field Athlete of the Year honors have also been garnered by Bluffton athletes as well as conference championship meet records. All-Ohio champions and three All-American performances at the indoor and outdoor NCAA Division III national championships have highlighted the accomplishments of the past several 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 (2009-10) and was subsequently an English and mathematics teacher in a residential program 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 Master's in American Studies from 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 Coach Hunter Redman
Contact info for Coach REDMAN
Office phone: 419-358-3031
CELL PHONE: 231-580-5439
Hunter Redman, a native of White Cloud, Michigan, enters his first season at Bluffton University as an assistant coach for both the track and cross country teams.
Redman, a 2013 graduate of White Cloud High School, exceled athletically in three different sports. Competing within the Michigan High School Athletic Association, he gained four varsity letters with the Indians and was awarded All-State accolades nine times in track. His performance on the track set multiple school records, including the 800m run (1:56.76), the 4x400m relay (3:31.31), and the 4x200m relay (1:32.70) which are still in place today. Redman continued his running career at Ferris State University as a sprinter and mid-distance runner.
In 2014 and 2015, he volunteered as an assistant coach for White Cloud High School. While striving to continue his coaching career in 2016-17, he was an intern assistant coach for the track and cross country teams at Ferris State.
Redman earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in sports communication with a concentration in leadership and project management from Ferris State University in 2017. He is now pursuing a Masters of Business Administration at Bluffton University with a concentration in leadership while residing in Bluffton.