Statzer named GCCC Track & Field coach

(Courtesy of Garden City Community College Athletics)

GARDEN CITY, Kan. — It’s been a busy month for Garden City Community College Director of Athletics, Greg McVey, who on Monday, made another splash hire, naming Emmett Statzer as the Broncbusters’ new Head Men’s and Women’s Track and Cross-Country Coach.  

“There were certain qualities we were looking for with this position,” McVey said. “We wanted someone who was student-centered and had a history of success. Emmett checked all of those boxes. And his teams in the past, have been heavily involved in the community.”

Statzer comes to Garden City after spending more than a decade leading the track and cross-country programs at Iowa Western. During his time in Council Bluffs, he guided the Reivers to unparalleled success, coaching 12 individual National Champions while winning three region crowns. In 2015, five of his athletes won it all, including three Outdoor National Champs: Andres Trajkovski-Sorenson-long jump, Yanique Bennett-400-meter hurdles and Strymar Livingston-800-meter dash. That same season, Statzer was named the Midwest Region Coach of the Year.

“I knew a couple of former coaches like Ryan Turner and Dan Delgado, and they had a lot of success there,” Statzer said. “It’s exciting to take over a program that’s had tradition, but at the same time, has to be rebuilt and revamped.” 

Statzer’s success at Iowa Western stretched well beyond the track. He coached 20 Academic All-Americans in addition to 118 athletic All-Americans. His teams were also involved in the Relay for Life in 2012, Make-A-Wish Special Olympics, multiple breast-cancer awareness projects and helped time high school track and cross-country meets.

“Iowa Western gave me a lot of experience; I learned a lot,” Statzer explained. “When it’s your first job, you make a lot of mistakes, but you learn from them. I gained so much knowledge there, and there’s so much I took away.” 

In 2016, Statzer directed the men’s and women’s cross-country teams at Iowa Western to a 14th-place finish at Nationals. The year before, the men placed 10th. But their best finish came in 2010 when they were seventh in the nation. In all, the Reivers’ cross-country squads recorded three top-10 finishes in Statzer’s 11 seasons.

“I’ve already been working the phones,” Statzer said. “This is what I love to do. It’s a natural thing for me, and I’m so appreciative for this chance. I’d like to thank the committee as well as Dr. Ruda, Mr. McVey and Mr. Lamb for their support during this process. And I’d like to thank my family for their belief in me.

Before taking the job at Iowa Western, Statzer was the Head Track Coach at Elko High School in Elko, NV. for seven years where he also taught physical education and health. Prior to that, he coached runners, jumpers, vaulters and throwers at the middle-school level for two years in Elko. He began his career coaching and teaching in Hawthorne, NV, about 315 miles northwest of Las Vegas.

“We’ve had some great athletes at Garden City Community College in the past,” McVey said. “I know Emmett can get us back to where we want to be. He has the work ethic to do it. And he will get the type of athletes that will make this community stand behind our program.”

Statzer has his USA Level-I and Level-II Track and Field Certifications. He received his Bachelors’ Degree in Elementary and Physical Education with a minor in coaching from Jamestown College in Jamestown, ND in 1996. He and his wife, Crystal, have six kids: Denae (22), Cassie (21), Peyton (12), Reya (7), Airlyn (6) and Cryson (5).