- In his 9th Season at Arkansas
- Coached athletes to:
- 3 Olympians
- 11 NCAA Individual National Champions
- 69 Individual Conference Champions
- 92 NCAA All-Americans
- Coached Bowerman Award Winner, Jarrion Lawson
- Bahamian National Champion and 3 Jamaican National Champions (titles)
- 3 American Junior Records
Travis Geopfert begins his ninth season at the University of Arkansas and his 15th as a collegiate coach. He is charged with coaching the field and multi-event athletes with the Razorbacks while also acting as the recruiting coordinator for the Arkansas cross country/track & field programs.
In his eight years on the sidelines at Arkansas, Geopfert has built an impressive resume that includes 11 NCAA National Champions, (4 long jump, 3 triple jump, 1 high jump, 1 combined-event, 1 100 meters, 1 200 meters), 72 First Team All-Americans and 20 second team All Americans (92 Total), 135 NCAA National Qualifiers. 69 Conference Champions (14 SEC Champions), 136 All-Conference Performances, three Olympians and six World Championship Qualifiers. Those numbers don’t include the myriad of honors bestowed upon the student-athletes that Geopfert has recruited, an array of performers that have been among the top 10 recruiting classes in the nation in each of the past three years.
The work that Geopfert has done has not gone unnoticed to his peers. In 2008 he received the United States Track & Field Cross Country Coaches Association’s (USTFCCCA) Midwest Assistant Coach of the Year award for outdoor track and took the same honor indoors in 2013. His athlete development earned him increased recognition at the national level that same year as Geopfert was named the 2013 USTFCCCA National Assistant Coach of the Year for the indoor track season.
Geopfert’s 2013 track season was not just rewarding for him as an individual, but from a team standpoint as he helped Arkansas claim its 41st NCAA Championship during the indoor track season and win the John McDonnell Program of the Year award. The team also won its second straight SEC triple crown and Geopfert’s fingerprints were all over Arkansas’ team success in 2013 as he coached student-athletes to a national title in the heptathlon, 14 All-America honors and an SEC Champion.
In 2014 Geopfert repeated at the USTFCCCA National Assistant Coach of the Year for the indoor season following guiding one of his student-athletes to an individual national title for the second-consecutive year. In addition to the first-place finish five more from his training group earned All-American honors with three out of Geopfert’s six finishing among the top-five in their events at the national meet.
Kevin Lazas, the 2013 NCAA heptathlon champion, tallied 6,175 points on the way to his national title, a total that ranks No. 3 in NCAA history. The lofty numbers are not limited to just the multi-events. Geopfert’s first and third national champions were long jumpers Alan Bailey (2010) and Jarrion Lawson (2014). Lawson whose mark of 27-6.5 earned him a world No. 1 ranking at the time went on to finish second at the USATF Championships to cap his second season as a Razorback.
During the 2015 season Geopfert returned Lawson to the national spotlight guiding the junior to a silver medal in the long jump at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Picking up where they left off from the indoor season, Geopfert watched over Lawson’s outdoor progressions developing him into a dual-threat national contender in the 100-meter run and the long jump. With Geopfert’s mentoring, Lawson finished among the top-three competitors in both events at the NCAA Outdoor Championships bringing his All-American honors total to 12 in three years as a Razorback.
Geopfert’s seventh campaign at the helm of Razorback jumps, multis and throws brought several accomplishments including five SEC individual champions as well as multiple marks on Arkansas’ top-10 all-time bests list.
In Lawson’s final year with the Razorbacks the Texarkana, Texas native found his rhythm under Geopfert’s watch, sweeping the SEC and NCAA long jump titles in dominant fashion. Along with his collegiate success which saw him match Jesse Owens’ 100, 200, long national sweep Lawson landed international notoriety, leaping to a world-lead in the long jump at the U.S. Olympic Trials of 28-1 3/4.
Geopfert followed through with Lawson’s training all the way through the Olympic Games, molding the natural talent into a top-five finisher on the most elite stage in track and field. For his efforts in 2016 Lawson was selected as the NCAA National Outdoor Athlete of the Year and nominated as a finalist for the Bowerman Award and for the Best Male Collegiate Athlete ESPY Award.
Only one of Geopfert’s many talented student-athletes Lawson was joined on the national and Olympic stage by Jamaican triple jumper Clive Pullen who captured the NCAA indoor title and became the first Jamaican to qualify for an Olympic Games since the 1970s. In 2017 Geopfert guided Pullen to an indoor world lead of 17.19m/56-4 3/4 in the triple jump, which earned her place among Arkansas horizontal jump legends. Under Geopfert’s watch, Pullen earned his second consecutive NCAA indoor title while his coach pulled in top honors as the USTFCCCA South Central Region Assistant Coach of the Year. Geopfert also proved instrumental in helping defend his Jamaican National title, which qualified the budding talent for the World Championships in London, England.
Away from the field and onto the Rio oval Geopfert also played an instrumental role in assisting four-time NCAA champion Omar McLeod navigate his first Olympic games to become the first Jamaican gold-medalist in the 110-meter hurdles. Under Geopfert’s watch McLeod became the second men’s track and field Olympic champion in Razorback history joining the elite company of famed U.S. triple jumper Mike Conley.
In addition to his duties with the Razorbacks, Geopfert is a rising star on the national stage and in 2013 coached his second Thorpe Cup, a decathlon competition between the United States and Germany. A long-time advocate of the competition, Geopfert was also a member of three Thorpe Cup championships as a competitor between 2003 and 2006.
Familiar with Coach Bucknam’s philosophies and coaching style, Geopfert was an athlete during the head Razorback’s run at Northern Iowa before joining the coaching staff. The long-time Panther even took over the program for one season, after Bucknam left for Arkansas, before joining his mentor one year later. His coaching at Northern Iowa led to Missouri Valley Conference indoor and outdoor championships in 2009 as well as coach of the year honors both seasons. In six years as a coach at UNI, Geopfert was a part of numerous conference championships and his recruits continue to hold 12 UNI school records.
Geopfert’s coaching career began at Central Missouri State where he spent two years as an assistant coach. In that time he coached two Divison II national champions, one national runner-up, six All-Americans, five conference champions and 10 all-conference performers.
A standout student-athlete for Northern Iowa, Geopfert earned All-America honors and was a three-time MVC champion. Including his professional career as an athlete, he was a two-time Drake Relays decathlon championships, three-time member of the Thorpe Cup and a six-time USA Championships qualifier in the decathlon.
A native of Panora, Iowa, Geopfert earned his bachelor’s degree from Northern Iowa in 2002. He and his wife Nicole have one daughter, Ellyn and two sons, Jones and Jax.