After winning conference championships in its first three years, Brenau University’s Golden Tigers track and field team could be ready to make a significant mark on the national level.
The team’s new coach, Byron Kramer, says he wants to continue to build on the program’s success, which in its first three years resulted in three consecutive Southern States Athletic Conference titles, three qualifiers in the 2014 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics national championship meet and eight in the 2015 meet, including its first All-American.
“This is a team that has been extremely successful at the conference level and in its initial competition on the national plane,” Kramer said.
“My number one goal is to continue that and become successful on the national level. I think we can do it.”
Kramer replaces Richard Ludwig, who started the school’s track and field program three years ago and retired in the spring after three successive Coach of the Year accolades from the SSAC.
“I agree with Byron, and I think we can do it. The infrastructure is in place,” Brenau Athletics Director Mike Lochstampfor said.
“The team has been blowing out the competition at the conference level. Stepping up in national competition is a logical progression. I think he’s got the ability to get it done.”
Kramer plans to start by reshaping the training schedule for Brenau athletes so they will be able to produce their optimum effort at the national championships.
“We want to train them so they can compete at the conference meet, but do it in a way that will allow them to peak later so they can be competitive at nationals,” Kramer said.
Kramer wants to strengthen the areas in which the Golden Tigers have not been traditionally strong, such as the distance events, and develop athletes who are capable of competing in multi-leg events like heptathlon.
Kramer also said that he will try to to expand the recruiting base to include more international athletes.
“He will be excellent,” Lochstampfor said. “He has great knowledge and a great background. He will be an excellent addition to the staff.”
Kramer has been active for years in the Atlanta area as a track and cross country coach. Since 2011, he has served as an assistant track coach at Oglethorpe University and an assistant track coach at Norcross High School. He also operates the Boss Track Club.
Kramer is a Level 1 certified coach through USA Track and Field. He also holds certification as a personal trainer, master trainer and fitness nutrition coach through National Health Educators. He is a graduate of Ferris State University, where he majored in biology. He spent one year in a Ph.D. program at the University of Tennessee at Memphis.