Mary Theisen has been named UW-Oshkosh’s interim head men’s and women’s track & field coach following the resignation of Ben Dorsey on Wednesday (Oct. 5). Theisen had been announced as the full-time assistant coach at the university on Aug. 23.
Theisen, who tutored UW-Oshkosh throwers as a volunteer coach last season, also assisted with the University of Wisconsin throws program on a volunteer basis during the 2014-15 season.
Last year, Theisen helped UW-Oshkosh's Elizabeth Abhold and Zachary Baehman achieve indoor All-America honors in the 20-pound weight throw and shot put, respectively. She also coached Abhold to the outdoor WIAC hammer throw title.
“I’m very thankful for this opportunity to lead the UW-Oshkosh track & field program,” Theisen said. “We have some very talented student-athletes and I look forward to being more involved with the them as a group, rather than my specific event unit. Our student-athletes and coaches over the years have been instrumental in building a championship tradition, and I look forward to being a part of that tradition in an expanded role.”
Theisen, an Eau Claire Regis High School graduate, began her collegiate career at NCAA Division II Winona State University (Minn.). She totaled five All-America awards for the Warriors, including one with her first-place effort in the discus at the 2011 national outdoor championship. In 2011, Theisen was named the Central Region Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
Following three seasons at Winona State University, Theisen transferred to NCAA Division I Indiana State University. She earned three All-America citations for the Sycamores during the 2014 season and was named the Most Outstanding Field Athlete at the Missouri Valley Conference Indoor Championship. Theisen concluded her collegiate career by placing ninth in the shot put at the USA Outdoor Championship. She also holds three state of Wisconsin powerlifting records.
Theisen earned a bachelor's degree in sport management from Indiana State University in 2014.
“I’m very pleased with Mary’s willingness to assume the role of interim head track & field coach,” said UW-Oshkosh Director of Athletics Darryl Sims. “She will provide quality leadership and offer our student-athletes the continuity that we believe is vital to continuing the outstanding success of our indoor and outdoor programs.”
Dorsey stepped down after guiding the UW-Oshkosh women’s track & field team for four seasons and the school’s men’s track & field squad for one.
Dorsey led the UW-Oshkosh women’s indoor track & field program to consecutive NCAA Division III titles in 2013 and 2014, garnering national Coach of the Year honors in 2014 and sharing the award with co-head coach Drew Ludtke in 2013.
During Dorsey’s tenure at UW-Oshkosh, the women’s indoor track & field squad also finished as the national runner-up in 2015 and as did his 2015 outdoor team and the 2013 outdoor squad co-coached by Ludtke.
Dorsey’s women’s teams amassed 48 All-America citations – 27 during the indoor season and 21 outdoors. The group includes 11 individual national indoor champions and nine outdoor national event titlists. Dorsey also coached the women’s team to 20 outdoor and 13 indoor WIAC event championships.
His one season as the UW-Oshkosh men’s track & field head coach featured three indoor and four outdoor All-Americans. In addition to national accolades, his men’s teams captured three outdoor and one indoor WIAC event championships.
As an assistant track & field coach from 2006-12, Dorsey helped UW-Oshkosh capture seven NCAA Division III championships. The Titans took both of the women's titles during 2006 and 2011 while winning the outdoor crown in 2007. UW-Oshkosh also swept the men's indoor and outdoor championships in 2009.
“We are extremely grateful for what Ben was able to accomplish nationally with our track & field program,” Sims said. “He was an outstanding coach and leaves our university with our gratitude and best wishes.”
During his collegiate career, Dorsey earned four varsity letters in both football and track & field at UW-La Crosse. He gained three All-America awards on the track while helping the Eagles to four indoor and three outdoor national championships. Dorsey was named to the 2003 All-WIAC Football Team after totaling 1,001 all-purpose yards.
Dorsey earned his bachelor's degree in 2005 from UW-La Crosse, where he was the sprints coach for the track & field program during 2005.
UW-Oshkosh will begin its search to fill the permanent head men's and women's track & field coaching position in the spring.