Steve Mathre has continued St. Thomas’ success as a conference and national power in NCAA Division III men’s track and field. The 2019 season will mark his 29th in the program, including the 24th as Tommie head coach. Mathre, who previously served five seasons as a Tommie assistant, is an active member of the United States Track Coaches Association and USA Track and Field.
In Mathre's first 28 seasons in the UST program, St. Thomas has won all 28 MIAC indoor team championships, plus 23 of the 28 conference outdoor team crowns. In those 28 years, he’s coached St. Thomas athletes to more than 260 All-MIAC honors (16 of which set MIAC meet records) and nearly 100 All-America performances.
St. Thomas’ is 34-for-34 all-time in MIAC indoor team titles -- one of the longest current streaks of its kind in any sport in Division III. Mathre's 2006 team became the first in any MIAC sport to win 22 consecutive conference team championships.
Mathre was named NCAA Central Region Coach of the Year in 2008, 2009 and 2012. St. Thomas placed fifth nationally indoors in 2012 led by NCAA champion Mike Hutton (800 meters) and national runner-up in the triple jump Eyo Ekpo. Sweeps of the indoor and outdoor team titles led to Mathre winning MIAC Coach of the Year honors in each sport. Hutton was NCAA runner-up outdoors.
Mathre's latest NCAA individual champion was junior Eric Holst in 2018 (hammer throw).
His 2008 Tommie men placed fifth at the NCAA meet led by national champion Mark O'Connell in the hammer; runner-up Derek Marks in the discus; and third-place P.J. Theisen, who posted an all-time conference best in the 400 hurdles.
In 2009, the Toms also swept MIAC team titles for the second year in a row and had 10 different All-Americas in 10 events, led by six-time All-America Pat Jager.
The Toms nearly won it all at the 2009 NCAA outdoor meet and placed third -- the program's best in 16 seasons -- led by NCAA relay championships in the 4x100 and 4x400. The Toms finished just one point out of second place and only seven points behind champion UW-Oshkosh. St. Thomas' 4x100 meter unit of James Ewer, junior Sam Moen, Joe DeFrance and Jager ran a school-record time of 40.75 in mid-May, then made Minnesota history with their victory in the NCAA finals in a time of 40.76. The quartet became the first men's track and field team from the Gopher state to win an NCAA relay championship. Three hours later, Matt Griswold joined Ewer, DeFrance and Jager to win the 4x400 in 3:10.60, a new school record and a Marietta stadium record.
In 2003-2004, St. Thomas swept the MIAC team titles and its 4x400 relay placed second at the indoor national meet -- then the best NCAA placing in history by a conference men's relay team. The Tommies placed ninth in the Division III outdoor championships with three top-five finishes. The Tommies' 4x400 relay placed in the top five at outdoor nationals six consecutive seasons from 1999-2004.
Mathre's 1998 outdoor team produced seven All-Americas and 22 All-MIAC performers; the 1999 squad had six All-Americas and 13 All-MIAC athletes; the 2000 team had two NCAA runners-up indoors and 11 All-Americas indoors and outdoors; the 2001 squad had five All-Americas indoors and outdoors; the 2002 team had eight All-Americas indoors and outdoors; and the 2003 Toms had 10 All-Americas led by NCAA runner-up Joe Thomas in the high jump.
As a competitor, Mathre was a six-time MIAC hurdle champion and five-time All-American for St. Olaf College. He was named conference MVP and was an NCAA runner-up in the 400 hurdles as a sophomore in 1988, and his time of 52.09 stood as the MIAC best time until it was broken in May 2007.
As a USATF certified sprints and hurdles coach, Mathre has the personality, the knowledge and experience necessary to help his athletes be the best they can be.
"There are many reasons for our track and field success at St. Thomas," Mathre said. "We’re more than simply a team -- we’re a program. A program that consistently attracts talented student-athletes who are motivated to succeed. Our students know they will receive an outstanding, small-school education while experiencing all that a big-time track and field program can provide."