Steve Travis, the longest tenured head coach at Wisconsin Lutheran College, is in his 26th season at the helm of the Wisconsin Lutheran College men's and women's cross country programs. He also serves as an assistant coach for the men's and women's track & field teams after serving as head coach of both programs from 1994-2014.
Travis, who joined the Warriors in August 1993 as cross country club coach before the program gained intercollegiate status in 1994, has coached 10 individual cross country conference champions between the men's and women's teams since 2001.
The men's team recorded its highest NACC finish and best since 2005 after placing second at the 2017 NACC Championships. Senior Jacob Jodat was named NACC Runner of the Year after topping the 91-runner field with an 8K time of 26:04.8, nearly 0:32 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher. WLC placed five runners inside the top 22 en route to its runner-up finish.
The women's team was fifth at the 2017 NACC Championships for the third time in four years. Senior Cassie Balts earned All-NACC honors for the third straight season, marking 18 consecutive years a Warriors runner has received all-conference honors.
The 2012 women's team was one of the best in WLC history. Sophomores Marya Haegler and Julie Favorite placed first and second overall at the NACC Championships. In total, four WLC runners finished inside the top 11 as the team finished second in the field, its highest finish at a conference championship since 2005. Haegler earned NACC Runner of the Year honors, giving a WLC runner that distinction for three straight years. The Warriors women also had their best-ever finish at the NCAA Division III Midwest Regional, placing 21st out of 40 teams. Haegler earned All-Region honors by finishing 33rd overall.
In 2011, Travis coached Katie Schommer to a second consecutive win at the NACC Championships, as she became the first women's runner in conference history to repeat as champion at the event. The 2010 season marked the first time that a Warriors women's cross country student-athlete qualified for the NCAA Division III Championships. Schommer, who placed 47th out of 279 runners at the event, still holds the fastest time of any NACC runner (21:58.1) to compete at the NCAA Championships.
Zach Shiels became the first student-athlete in program history to qualify for the NCAA Division III Championships in 2008, placing 24th overall in a field of 280 runners at the NCAA Division III Midwest Regional.
Both teams finished runner-up at the 2005 Lake Michigan Conference Championships, the best finish for the men in 11 previous seasons of LMC competition. 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 seven conference champions; Jacob Jodat (2017), 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). The Warriors have combined for 10 individual titles in the past 17 seasons.
Travis also serves as an assistant coach for the men's and women's track & field programs at WLC, after serving as head coach for the program's first 21 years of existence. In 2009, Travis mentored Dominique Johnson, who became the first Warriors student-athlete to qualify for both the NCAA Division III Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field Championships in the triple jump.
A 1993 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Travis earned his degree in physical education with an emphasis in corporate fitness. He started his collegiate athletic career as a wide receiver for two seasons with the Warhawks football team before turning his focus to the track as a middle distance runner where he was 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 school-record time of 1:50.68. Travis was inducted into the UW-Whitewater Athletics Hall of Fame 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 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 USTFCCCA Awards Sub Committee and the Wisconsin Cross Country Coaches Association, Travis was born in Mobridge, S.D. He resides in Pewaukee with his wife, Gwen.