false
Saturday 06/14
NCAA Championships
T&F - Men
Friday 06/13
NCAA Championships
T&F - Men
Thursday 06/12
NCAA Championships
T&F - Men
Wednesday 06/11
NCAA Championships
T&F - Men
Saturday 05/31
NCAA West Preliminary
T&F - Men
Friday 05/30
NCAA West Preliminary
T&F - Men
Thursday 05/29
NCAA West Preliminary
T&F - Men
Sunday 05/18
SEC Championships
T&F - Men
Saturday 05/17
SEC Championships
T&F - Men
Friday 05/16
SEC Championships
T&F - Men
Thursday 05/15
SEC Championships
T&F - Men
Sunday 05/04
Payton Jordan Invitational
T&F - Men
Friday 05/02
Arkansas Twilight
T&F - Men
Sunday 04/27
Drake Relays
T&F - Men
Saturday 04/26
Drake Relays
T&F - Men
Friday 04/25
Drake Relays
T&F - Men
Saturday 04/19
Mt. Sac Relays
T&F - Men
Saturday 04/12
John McDonnell Invitational
T&F - Men
Saturday 04/05
Arkansas Spring Invitational
T&F - Men
Saturday 03/29
Texas Relays
T&F - Men
   
stop
Article Image
Courtesy: Walt Beazley
Geopfert works with 2013 NCAA Heptathlon Champion Kevin Lazas
View larger

Coach Geopfert’s Impact on Razorback Track & Field

03/21/2014
Athletic Communications
Send this article to a friend Print RSS
RELATED LINKS

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Men’s track and field assistant coach Travis Geopfert has accumulated an impressive list of accomplishments in his 10 years of coaching, earning numerous accolades and national recognition – especially during the last five years with the Razorbacks.

To break it down, Geopfert has led five NCAA National Champions, (two long jump, one triple jump, one high jump, one heptathlon), 54 First Team All-Americans, 91 NCAA National Qualifiers, 63 Conference Champions and 118 All-Conference performances.

This week, Geopfert was named USTFCCCA National Assistant Coach of Year following the team’s second-straight Southeastern Conference Title and runner-up finish at the 2014 NCAA Indoor Championships. Last weekend in Albuquerque, Geopfert’s resume expanded as he guided Jarrion Lawson to the national crown in the long jump at 27-6½ (8.39m), Kevin Lazas to a third-place finish in the heptathlon and Anthony May to a fifth-place showing in the triple jump for 20 of Arkansas’ 54 team points. These accomplishments led to Geopfert’s second-consecutive National Assistant Coach of the Year award.

The numbers are impressive and the honors speak for themselves, but that’s not what motivates Geopfert, arguably the top assistant coach in the nation. It’s not about his awards, or his championships, or even his personal collegiate career as a three-time Missouri Valley Conference Champion at the University of Northern Iowa. It’s about his student-athletes.

His energy is infectious, his dedication is unparalleled and Coach Geopfert – or, “Geffy” to the team – is making a lasting impression on his student-athletes.

Geopfert is a coach that spends just as much time developing a student-athlete’s collegiate career, as he does their personal growth.  Whether he’s taking an athlete through the technique of a jump, or enlightening them on the era in which they were born via early 1990’s music, Geopfert as the innate ability to genuinely connect with each of his athletes.

2014 NCAA Long Champion Lawson and 2013 NCAA Heptathlon Champion Lazas can attest to this first-hand, and sat down to talk about the impact Geopfert has had on them, both on and off the track.

If you could describe Coach Geopfert in one word, what would it be?

Kevin Lazas: “Work ethic. He is one of the hardest-working guys I know.  He’s out here on the track with us every day, five hours a day, just trying to get his athletes as good as they can be."

Jarrion Lawson: “I would simply describe him as great. He works with each and every one of us, he motivates us and he likes to have fun. That makes us want to go out there and work hard for him every day.”

How has Coach Geopfert helped develop you into the national caliber athlete that you are today?

KL: “He’s invested a lot of time in me and been really patient with me. In a lot of events it takes a while for you to see progress, but he sticks with you and keeps hammering down on what you need to do. That’s what helped me the most, the time he has spent with me the patience he has shown. He will tell me over and over what I need to be working on until I have it down. Even if I’m not doing something right away, he tells me to focus on the process and sometimes it comes gradually, that’s where his patience plays a key role.”

JL: “He changed my whole perception of jumping. I used to be a big scratcher in high school before coming here, but Coach Geopfert changed that within one season at Arkansas. From the runway to my technique in the air, he’s changed me into a whole new type of athlete. He is so dedicated to each and every one of us, it’s great.”

What does he contribute that helps your growth, personally?

KL: “Time. He has taught me so much. He’s taught me how to be a better athlete on the track and how to be a better person off the track. The cool thing about the decathlon is it it’s sort of like life. You have your ups & downs and you’re not going to be perfect in every single event. He’s kind of taught me that over the last four years, how to carry what I do on the track over into real life. He’s really put a lot of effort into making be a better athlete and a better person. That effort means a lot to me.”

JL: “Coach Geopfert is always telling us to stay out of trouble and keep your head in academics. He always stresses the importance of our academics. His dedication with each and every one of us goes beyond the track – he cares about helping us become the person we want to be.”

We have an idea of Coach Geopfert on the track, who is Coach Geopfert off the track?

KL: “He is high energy. That’s one of the biggest reasons I chose Arkansas because Coach Geopfert is so energetic. He’s not a calm coach and that’s what I like, because I’m the same way. The cool thing about him is that he’s serious on the track when needs to coach, but he also messes around with the athletes, which makes it fun.”

JL: “He’s got a very enthusiastic personality and makes sure we’re always having a good time. He also thinks he’s a big wrestler on campus. One day he was giving me a hard time, so we got to wrestling…and he didn’t quite win.”

Each person is different and Coach Geopfert has found what works with each individual athlete, what are some key points Coach Geopfert emphasizes with you?

KL: “He tells me over and over, ‘you have to focus on the process.’ I say it now, that’s where I got it from. My training had been going so well up until the national meet this year, and didn’t show that I’m actually a way better athlete now that I was last year. But Geopfert told me, you just have to focus on the process and the time will come when all the training pays off. That’s one of the things he’s always taught me – you have to focus on the process and the time at hand. There’s nothing you can do about what happened in the past, you just have to keep moving forward to get better.”

JL: “With me, he always tells me, ‘have fun.’ Before every track meet he says to go out there and have fun, don’t worry about the competition. So, that’s what I do - and it works.”

What has been your favorite Coach Geopfert moment?

KL: “Winning the NCAA Indoor National Championship last year. I wouldn’t have been close to having a shot at winning the heptathlon if he wasn’t my coach."

JL: “One time we were upstairs getting treatment before the SEC Championships and he just busts out a 90’s rap. He’s dancing and flowing and I was like ‘Oh my gosh!’ – it was one of my favorite Geffy moments.”

For more information on Razorback Track & Field, follow @RazorbackTF on Twitter.


advertisement
Uploaded Ad
Lowes Social Ad