Justin Kinseth was named the new head coach of the storied UW-Oshkosh men’s and women’s track & field programs, director of athletics Darryl Sims announced on Tuesday (May 30).
Kinseth was mostly recently an assistant coach, recruiting coordinator, and director of strength and conditioning for the Benedictine University (Ill.) men’s and women’s track & field teams.
"I am deeply humbled and excited to work with such a supportive staff at UW-Oshkosh and for the opportunity to lead these young men and women within the track & field program,” Kinseth said. “I also want to thank Darryl Sims for inviting me into a strong culture of student-athlete excellence that is shown both in competition and in the classroom.”
After joining Benedictine University in March 2015, Kinseth helped coach the men's track & field team to Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference (NACC) indoor and outdoor titles in 2016.
In his two-plus years at Benedictine University, Kinseth coached and developed more than 20 NCAA Division III postseason qualifiers, including several All-Americans. Kinseth also coordinated recruiting efforts that saw more than 40 new student-athletes enroll at Benedictine University each year.
With Kinseth’s assistance, the Benedictine University men’s team achieved its first top-25 ranking from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). The squad was ranked 77th in 2015 before ascending to third in the national poll in 2017.
Kinseth was named the 2017 USTFCCCA Men’s NCAA Division III Assistant Coach of the Year following both the indoor and outdoor national championships. He was also selected the 2017 Men’s NCAA Division III Midwest Region Indoor and Outdoor Assistant Coach of the Year.
During 2017, Kinseth helped Benedictine University place fourth at the Division III men’s outdoor championship. He coached student-athletes to titles in the triple jump and the 400-meter relay while tutoring the national runner-up in the long jump.
“We are excited to have Justin as a member of our athletics program,” Sims said. “He has been a successful recruiter because of his infectious energy and passion, and has had great success wherever he has been. I welcome Justin to our Titan community and look forward to partnering with him on the many things that make UW-Oshkosh a successful athletics program.”
Prior to his tenure at Benedictine University, Kinseth was an assistant track & field and cross country coach at Cardinal Stritch University for two years. His recruiting helped bring in 30 student-athletes to the men’s team while helping double the women's roster in just one season.
Kinseth competed in both football and track & field for Wartburg College (Iowa). He was a wide receiver for the Knights in 2009, when the team won the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC) championship and advanced to the NCAA Division III semifinals.
Kinseth was a four-year letter winner as a member of the Wartburg College track & field team. He helped the Knights win the 2012 IIAC indoor and 2013 IIAC outdoor titles while competing in the javelin and the multi-events. Kinseth currently ranks fifth in Wartburg College history in the pentathlon.
Kinseth earned his bachelor’s and master's degree from Wartburg College and Cardinal Stritch University, respectively.
Kinseth replaces Mary Theisen-Lappen, who served as interim head coach of the UW-Oshkosh men’s and women’s track & field teams since August. Theisen-Lappen will remain as an assistant track & field coach with an emphasis in the throws.
The UW-Oshkosh men’s and women’s track & field programs are among the most successful in the country.
The women’s team has won a Division III-leading nine indoor and nine outdoor national titles. UW-Oshkosh has also produced nine NCAA runner-up finishes during the outdoor season and seven second-place finishes at the national indoor meet.
UW-Oshkosh claimed women’s indoor national championships in 1994, 1995, 1996, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2011, 2013 and 2014. The Titan women also secured NCAA outdoor titles in 1990, 1991, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2004, 2006, 2007 and 2011.
On the men’s side, UW-Oshkosh clinched both the indoor and outdoor national titles in 2009. The Titan men placed second in the NCAA at the 1990 outdoor championship and finished as the national indoor runners-up in 1999, 2001, 2003 and 2013.
“The competitive environment that this track & field program offers is extremely exciting,” Kinseth said. “I am also thrilled to bring my experiences and values into this athletics department. Everything that UW-Oshkosh represents is a tremendous fit for me, and I am eager to provide a tradition of competitive excellence."