Coach Tom Antczak will be entering his 26th season as head men’s and women’s cross country coach at UW-Platteville with the start of the 2017 season. In addition he has also served as the assistant distance-middle/distance track coach for 21 years after serving as the head track coach from 1993-96. In that time, the Pioneers have become a nationally prominent distance program.
Since 2000 the men's cross country team has qualified for the NCAA III national meet eight times, with a high finish of fourth in 2010. During that time, Pioneer men's cross country student-athletes have garnered 18 All-America honors, which is the fifth highest total of All-Americans in all of NCAA DIII.
His athletes have also won three NCAA DIII national cross country championship individual titles (Tyler Sigl in 2007 and Ian LaMere in 2015 & 2016), seven NCAA Midwest Regional cross country championship individual titles and eight WIAC conference cross country championship individual titles in that 17 year span. This is the highest number of national champions of any DIII team in the nation, the most regional champions of any Midwest regional team and more WIAC conference champions then the next 3 conference teams combined. Under his direction, the women's team has garnered five All-American honors as well as having won a regional and conference individual title.
Other honors his athletes have won include 81 Midwest All-Regional cross country team honors and 83 WIAC All-Conference honors under his tenure.
The Pioneer cross country teams regularly win academic honors as well, with the women having attained USTFCCCA All-Academic Team status 21 out of the last 24 years and the men doing so 11 times. Finally, the Pioneers have had six cross country athletes win the prestigious WIAC Scholar-Athlete Award.
On the track since the 2000 season, Antczak’s men and women athletes have garnered 65 individual All-American honors which is the second highest among WIAC schools, as well as having a national championship record setting Distance Medley Relay team on both the men’s and women’s side. The individual honors include 17 National Champions in events ranging from the 800-meters indoors to the 10,000-meters outdoor. Combining track and cross country he has produced six National Athletes of the Year, and 3 Outstanding Athletes of the National Meet.
At the conference level in track his athletes have won 53 individual titles and 9 relay titles and have set 8 conference meet records since the 2000 season. Additionally during his tenure the distance/middle distance runners have set over 190 school records.
Antczak has also coached two of his athletes to the Olympic Marathon Trials, Keri Wells in 2000 and Corey Stelljes in 2004. Another of his athletes, Ryan Kleimenhagen, raced to fifth place in the 1,500-meters at the 2005 USATF Indoor National Championships.
Coach Antczak has attained Level 5 endurance coaching certification “with distinction” through IAAF, the international governing body of track and field, and Level 3 endurance coaching certification through USATF, the national governing body of track and field. Both certifications are the highest levels each organization offers to coaches. In addition he has been the director of seven USATF Level I coaching schools that UW-Platteville has hosted over the past 21 years. He has also taught exercise physiology, fitness programming and prescription and other exercise science course in the UW-Platteville Health and Human Performance department.
During his competitive career, Antczak reached near world-class status, qualifying for three Olympic Marathon Trials (1976, 1980, 1984), winning two Marathon National Championships (NAIA/1978 & USATF/1979) and placing fifth at the New York City Marathon (1978) and 12th at the Boston Marathon (1982). Antczak ran collegiate at UW-La Crosse, where he was the 1978 NAIA national marathon champion setting a national meet record. This athletic experiences as well as Antczak’s breadth of knowledge in the distance and middle distance events gives him a truly unique and extensive understanding of competitive distance running.