Three Panther finish in top-10
Milwaukee wins first meet of the season in convincing fashion
Johnson takes second, Panthers take two of three
Top talent from the area set to join the team next fall
Panthers working at Atwater Elementary with young students
In his 26th season as the head men's and women's cross country and track and field coach, Pete Corfeld continues to make his mark as one of the most successful coaches the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has ever seen.
Corfeld has guided his teams to 46 league indoor and outdoor track titles and three cross country crowns. His 49 league titles are by far more than any other coach in school history. Last year, the men won the indoor title in dramatic fashion with an incredible team performance in the final 4x400 relay. The team also saw its streak of 10-straight outdoor titles come to a close, a run that was the longest in the nation.
Historically, Milwaukee has swept all four track league titles four times in one season, most recently in 2011. UWM also claimed all four track championships in 2001, 2007 and 2010.
Individually, Panther athletes had another banner year in 2013-14. They claimed the women's indoor and men's outdoor league athlete of the year awards last year, while the program accumulated 22 individual championships over the indoor and outdoor seasons.
The success has not ended at the league meet, as Milwaukee sent four student-athletes to compete in six events at the NCAA West Regional, despite the NCAA's stricter qualifications regionals and the reduction of regional meets. Out of the four, Durell Busby earned a trip to the NCAA Championships and was named First-Team All-American after finishing seventh overall in the nation in the 110m hurdles. Busby also nearly represented the Black & Gold on the international level, earning a spot at the prestigious Commonwealth Games for his home nation of Trinidad & Tobago.
Last season's indoor title was the 10th in the last 11 years for the Milwaukee men's program. All told, the men's program has won 30 of the last 35 league meets. That stretch includes 15 of the 17 outdoor championships the league has sponsored.
While the men have found unparalleled success, the women have not been far behind. In fact, over the last 35 league meets dating back to 1997, Milwaukee has failed to secure a top-two finish just four times. That string includes 16 league championships.
Both teams have been dominant in their success as four times a Panther team has won a league meet by over 100 points. The program holds league records on both the men's and women's sides for points in an outdoor championship and margin of victory. In 2003, UWM won the women's title with 252 points, 171 ahead of second place. Two years later, it was the men that tallied 231 points, pacing second place by 120.
Corfeld has been recognized for his success many time over, garnering League Coach of the Year honors 46 times in his career. He has coached 12 league athletes of the year and 80 outstanding performer and newcomer of the year recipients. Tenia Fisher (2003-06) was just the second athlete in league history, in any sport, to be recognized as athlete of the year three times in one sport (indoor track).
Corfeld works primarily with the middle distance and distance groups in addition to the cross country squads. UWM had the 10th-fastest 4x800m relay in the country in 2005, with the quartet posting a school-record time of 7:26.17.
Corfeld's cross country program has produced 68 all-league performers since the Panthers entered a conference for the 1992 season. He has also coached two individual champions and three newcomer of the year honorees.
In 2008, the Milwaukee women took second place at the league championship and had four runners earn all-league honors for the second-straight year. For the 2008 team, three of those all-league awards were first-team honors. The second-place finishes are the team's best since joining the Horizon League. In 2007, all-league first-teamer Holly Nearman took 12th at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional for all-region honors. It was the highest finish at a Division I regional by a Panther ever. He was also named league coach of the year, the first time in league history the award went to the second-place team coach.
Despite not winning a cross country championship since leaving the Mid-Continent Conference, UWM has continually performed in the upper half of the league standings. After winning a women's crown in 1992 and both the men's and women's championships in 1993, Milwaukee has boasted a pair of men's league individual champions while rarely finishing below fourth.
Corfeld, the longest-tenured coach currently at UWM, has built well-respected track and field and cross country teams that consistently compete with other schools across the league, region and country.
Under his direction, nine different student-athletes have qualified for the NCAA Championships. In addition to Busby, Samia Taylor, Nick Gretz, Tim Kenney, Cory Peterson and Angie Molter all competed at the NCAA Track and Field Championships, while Chad Zehms was a qualifier in the NCAA Cross Country Championships in 1995. Peterson would later make two more appearances in the NCAA Championships, along with qualifying for the U.S. Olympic Trials in the 800m run in 1996 and placing third in the 800m at the USATF Indoor Championships. Molter was the first UWM female to compete in the NCAA Division I Championships, running the 10,000m in 1996.
Corfeld's athletes have also excelled off the track, as Josh Nygren earned the Horizon League's prestigious Coleman Medal of Honor in 2006. He was the program's third recipient of the honor after Paul McGinley in 2000 and Jonathon Manke in 2002.
Corfeld's coaching career began at St. Mary's Academy in 1980. Three years later he became the head track and field coach at Milwaukee Area Technical College. At MATC, he was named Region XIII and conference coach of the year three times. Corfeld graduated from UWM in 1986 with a bachelor's degree in science. He was then named assistant coach for sprints, hurdles and relays at Northern Colorado, where he also worked on a master's degree. In 1989, after completing his degree, he was named the head cross country and track and field coach at UWM. Since taking over the Panther track program, Corfeld has helped to elevate UWM to a regional and national program.
Corfeld and his wife, Linda, reside in Whitefish Bay, Wis.