Ekel enters his first year as the head cross country/track and field coach.
Ekel arrives at Graceland following one and a half years as the Head Men's and Women's Cross Country/Track and Field coach at Southwestern Community College. He coached the first National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) All-American in the track and field (indoor high jump) in program history, as a total of three athletes qualified for the NJCAA Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field Championships.
He has experience designing and implementing training sessions, while also being an academic advisor for the student-athletes in the cross country/track and field programs.
Before Southwestern, Ekel served as a volunteer coach at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh for a semester. Here he coach NCAA DIII Indoor All-Americans in the Distance Medley and the 800 meter and assisted in the development of six indoor track and field All-Conference performers.
He also spent a season as the Assistant Cross Country Coach at Sheridan County School District #1, while working for EMIT Technologies, Inc. as a Marketing and Public Relations Specialist in Wyoming.
A native of Saint John's, MI, he graduated from the University of Wyoming in 2013 with a Bachelor's of Science in Geography/Environment and Natural Resources. Ekel competed in cross-country, earning all-conference twice the Mountain West Conference.
Coach Jordon Andreassen is entering her fourth year as the Vertical Jumps, Throws and Combined events coach for the men’s and women’s track and field teams. During her third year she coached one All American in the men’s heptathlon and two National Qualifiers in the women’s high jump, men’s decathlon and high jump. In her second year as assistant coach she coached one All American in the men’s heptathlon and three National Qualifiers in the men’s hurdles, women’s high jump and men’s decathlon. Coach Andreassen has coached six conference champions and sixty-two top eight conference placers.
Andreassen graduated from Iowa State University in 2013, with a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences. She was a four-year letter winner at Iowa State University where she competed in the combined events. Andreassen won four Big XII conference medals in the pentathlon and heptathlon.
Coach Jeff Johannes is entering his third season as the Jumps/Sprints coach for the men’s and women’s track and field teams. In his two seasons with Graceland University, Coach Johannes has had four All Americans and 11 National Qualifiers, along with five Conference champions and six runner-up Conference Champions. He has also coached athlete's to break school records in the men's long jump and women's 60m. He has coached the No. 1 ranked men's long jumper in NAIA with a jump of 25'3.25 and the second ranked women's long jumper in the nation. He has also coached the Heart Conference athlete of the week five times and two long jump meet records.
High school coaching highlights - He coached a female long jumper who was… the 2015 USA Junior Championships in Eugene, the Oregon Long Jump All-American Medalist (19'2.50), #20 by Track & Field News with a jump (19'10.25) in 2014, she was Iowa's All-Time High School Girls Long Jump leader, a five-time state record holder in the Long Jump, the 2015 New Balance Indoor Nationals Long Jump Emerging Elite Champion, 2013 World Youth Trials Long Jump Competitor, 2012 Youth Championships Long Jump Silver Medalist and 2015 Bronze Medalist, a three-time Junior Olympic Long Jump medalist, a two-time Junior Olympic Triple Jump medalist, the 2015 USA Region 8 Long Jump Champion, 2015 Big River Series Long Jump Champion, and the USA Iowa Indoor and Outdoor Long Jump Champion and Runner Champion.
He coached the 2015 Team Iowa Girls "Senior Spotlight" in the horizontal jumps. His long jumpers went 1-2-3 on the medal stand with jumps of 19'8.50 (season best & meet record), 19'2.25 (PR by a foot) and 18'2 was a (PR by six inches), respectively. He has also coached many athletes to the Jr. Olympics and National Championships.
Coach Jeff Johannes has been coaching track & field for 12 years, while specializing in the horizontal jumps, sprints & relays. Coach Johannes has a strong background in personal training, strength & conditioning, speed & agility instructor. He holds a USA Level 1 track & field coaching certification.
Coach Tom Shore will be entering his first year coaching at Graceland University as the Pole Vault coach.
Tom competed for Graceland where he placed top 3 in the HAAC indoor championships, as well as an indoor national qualifier in the pole vault.
Before Graceland, he competed at Fullerton College in California where he started Pole Vaulting under the guidance of Coach Estelle Naito. He competed in meets such as the Southern California Championships and the Mt. SAC Relays.
After competing, Tom coached for a season there where he helped an athlete make it to the SoCal finals in pole vault.
Tom has a level 1 coaching certificate from USATF as well as a Bachelors in Psychology from Graceland University.