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Winning information

Dan Lukes
Dan Lukes (Athletics)
More often than not, Dan Lukes (Athletics) is delivering good news. As sports information director for the college, he has been on the sidelines for a winning program in which multiple sports have seen success build upon success. As the academic year rolled to its close, he talked to Mike Dauplaise ’84 about the state of Green Knight athletics.

Q: St. Norbert sports teams have been amazingly successful in recent years. What is it that’s working so well?
A: We’ve got a lot of quality student-athletes here, and the college sells itself. Our improved facilities allow our coaches to recruit a higher level of student-athlete more consistently than they may have been able to in the past. Enrollment is at an all-time high, and incoming students have higher test scores than ever. Recent additions to our campus, such as the Mulva Library and Donald J. Schneider Stadium, are very attractive for an 18-year-old and their parents when they come for a visit.

Q: Has the college experienced a direct recruiting benefit from the addition of its new facilities?
A: Absolutely. For example, the number of incoming students interested in track and field has increased dramatically over the past year. The new stadium has made recruiting a lot easier, because now the teams have a place they can call home. Track has been very successful lately, with several individual national champions, and that program may benefit as much as any from the new facility.

Q: What about the Midwest Conference?
A: The automatic bids available into the NCAA national tournaments for conference tournament champions have made it more attractive to attend a private school such as those in the Midwest Conference. That’s the biggest change over the past 10 or 15 years in Division III athletics. The state schools had dominated those tournament berths prior to that by gaining more of the available at-large spots.

Q: The college has some stable coaching situations. What has that meant for those programs?
A: We’re fortunate to have several great examples of coaches who have established winning traditions at St. Norbert. Women’s basketball is a good example of consistent success. Connie Tilley has been here since 1977, and in those 34 years she’s only had three losing seasons. To be that good for that long is quite a record. She has had the best years of that stretch over the last four years, with four straight 20-win seasons and three conference championships.

Jim Purtill has coached the football team for 12 years, and in that time we’ve won or tied for the conference championship nine times. Tim Coghlin has been at the helm of the men’s hockey program for 18 years, leading the team to two NCAA Division III national championships while winning 76 percent of their games.

Q: What do you see as being the next big thing in St. Norbert sports?
A: Women’s hockey is a brand-new program, and they had a very successful first season. To finish above .500 with a team of all freshmen tells me they’re going to be good for a long time.

Q: How has your role changed with the explosion of technology and social media?
A: Things have changed so much, and more with social media than anything. I still look at newspapers as being important, but the news holes have become smaller and the amount of coverage available has decreased. We have to pick our spots when to release news or promote a story. The Green Bay Packers dominate local sports coverage, so during the season we know it’s better to send out releases on a Tuesday after a Sunday game, because it will get lost in the wash the rest of the week. We have to be savvy about doing our promotions and find other ways to get the word out, such as our Facebook page [St. Norbert College Green Knights] and the college’s athletics website.

Q: How does being an SID for a college that offers 20 varsity sports impact your schedule?
A: The thing that makes this job not a job is the fact that each day is different. In the fall, I’ll be in the office every day from the time football reports to Thanksgiving. I might not put in eight hours some days, but it’s not uncommon to have 12-hour Saturdays and nine-hour Sundays, depending on what’s going on.

Q: What makes the long hours worth it?
A: I’m very particular as to how I want things done. Our athletes invest a lot to come here, and I believe they deserve the best treatment we can give them.

Summer 2011

Web extraLook here for web-exclusive content that expands on topics presented in the current
St. Norbert College Magazine.

VideoThe St. Norbert College Strategic Research Institute
David Wegge (Political Science) speaks about the evolution of the former Survey Center.

GalleryCommencement 2011
A gallery of images celebrates a fine day to remember.

VideoCommencement speaker, author David Maraniss
The Pulitzer Prize-winner addresses the Class of 2011.

VideoOn friendship
Friends Paul Wadell and Howard Ebert ’74 (Religious Studies) discuss their own connection in the light of Wadell’s work on friendship in the Christian life.

Audio ExtraA question of happiness
Leanne Kent (Philosophy) speaks on classical and contemporary conceptions.

Jim Benton (Sociology), Jim Hodgson (Biology) and Donald Taylor (Art) say what St. Norbert College has meant to them.

Text ExtraConsolation Prize
Read a sample of poems from this new collection by Laurie MacDiarmid (English).

VideoThe art of collaboration
Brian Pirman (Art) and Leivur Djurhuus ’12 talk about their recent installation in the Godschalx Gallery.

Audio ExtraLet the music sound
The Rev. Bartholomew Agar, O.Praem., ’55 (Music, Emeritus) performs at the abbey church.

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