Head Track & Field Coach
Head Cross-Country Coach
Head Cross-Country and Track & Field Coach Matt Koenigs joined the staff at Trinity Lutheran College in August of 2012. In a short time, Koenigs’ teams made tremendous strides both in roster size and strength. When he joined the Eagle staff his roster comprised a mere five athletes; today there are nearly 60 athletes on his teams.
Accustomed to wearing many hats, Koenigs occupied the unique position of coaching both the Trojans of Everett Community College and the Eagles at Trinity until the conclusion of the 2013-14 academic year. Koenigs stepped down at EvCC in order to focus on building the programs at Trinity after the Eagles learned they would be joining the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), a move made possible under his direction as Athletic Director, a position Koenigs served in at Trinity for two years (2013-15). Until that point, the Eagles were competing only in the National Association of Christian College Athletics (NCCAA). Undaunted by the challenge of working with two different collegiate programs, Koenigs’ Trojans at EvCC continued to win NWAACC Championships, bringing home another women’s cross-country title in 2012 and a men’s title in 2013. Meanwhile, his Trinity programs continued their growth from one season to the next.
In 2006, when he began his coaching career, Koenigs took over EvCC programs with two men and no women on the roster, teams that had never won an NWAACC Championship and had not placed among the conference’s top three at NWAACC since 1982.
“When I was hired, several local coaches warned me that my plan to build NWAACC Championship caliber programs could not be done at EvCC,” said Koenigs, who held full time jobs at Co-Rec Soccer and later at Brooks Sports while balancing his coaching duties at Everett.
Eight years later, his programs had accounted for five NWAACC Cross-Country Titles (two Men’s and three Women’s), 16 Individual NWAACC Championship performances, 68 All-American performances, 14 school records and an NWAACC record; he sent eight athletes on to compete at the NCAA Division 1 level and dozens of others to compete at various four-year programs. His teams built a reputation for developing athletes and moving them on to the next level, enabling the high degree of success to be maintained from one year to the next. Koenigs was named NWAACC Coach of the Year five times in addition to his selection as Associated Staff of the Year at EvCC in 2010.
Koenigs is now focused on developing his Trinity programs to contend at the highest levels of the NAIA, and the Eagles are well on their way to doing just that. In 2014, Trinity began a new Track and Field program and in their first season not only had a National Champion but saw its men finish 14th and its women 12th in the team standings at the NCCAA National Championships. The Eagles continued their growth as a program in 2015 are loaded for the 2016 Track and Field campaign with a strong 2015 recruiting class.
Meanwhile, in Cross Country, the Eagles have taken considerable strides from the program that had until recently struggled to field a scoring team. In 2014, both men’s and women’s teams placed 16th at the NCCAA National Cross Country Championships, the first time in school history that either gender has fielded a scoring team at Nationals. Last fall, during the 2015 XC season, Trinity's men broke into the top-10 with a 9th place team finish at the NCCAA championship, while the Eagle women improved to place 13th overall in the meet. Along the way, both teams also bettered college records for total team time at their respective championship race distances.
“I heard the same doubts from the local coaches when I moved across town to Trinity,” said Koenigs.
“What we’re doing can translate to success anywhere,” he said. “I have to admit, hearing folks tell me that it can’t be done… well, that only strengthens my resolve to prove to them that it can.”
Koenigs attended the University of Washington School of Law and passed the Washington State Bar Exam before setting aside a career in law to focus on pursuing his passion for athletics. He was recruited as an athlete and matriculated to the United States Air Force Academy, but withdrew shortly into the first semester to attend Western Washington University, where he competed in Cross Country and Track and Field. He enjoyed a successful prep career at Marysville-Pilchuck High School where he was named the Jim Linden Athlete of the Year in 1998. He participated at the State Championship in three sports, medaling in Track and Swimming and winning the Wesco 4A District Title in Cross Country in 1997 and the Wesco-Kingco District Title in the 1600m in 1998. Koenigs placed 6th in both the 1600m and 3200m races at the 1998 WIAA 4A State Track Championship and 7th in 500 freestyle at the 1998 WIAA State Swimming Championship.
Today, Koenigs enjoys a career as an elite amateur multisport athlete. In 2013, he earned a silver medal in his 30-34 age bracket at the ITU World Aquathlon Championship (1k swim/5k run) held in London where he was also seventh in his age group and the fourth fastest American overall in the Sprint Triathlon. His 15:36 5k run split at the conclusion of his Triathlon at the World Championship was the second fastest on the day among the 1844 competitors regardless of age group or Nationality. He credits his coach, Barry Magee, for his run-split performance.
“Before I started working with Barry, it was questionable whether I could run 15:36 fresh, let alone at the end of a triathlon. I owe him a debt of gratitude and have taken the lessons I’ve learned from him to fine tune what I am doing with my athletes,” Koenigs said.
Koenigs resides in Snohomish with his wife of 13 years, Leanne, and their three children, Chase, Brooklyn and Elise. They attend Gold Creek Church in Mill Creek.