Nate Wolf has served as head coach of the Defender women’s and men’s cross country programs since 2015.
His 2015, 2017, 2018 and 2020 women’s teams claimed GPAC titles while the 2016 and 2019 teams were runner-up finishers. All six of those teams qualified for the NAIA National Championship where they twice earned 11th place finishes along with an eighth, ninth and 23rd place team finish. Wolf also coached Audrey Brooks to NAIA All-American status in 2017, Annechiena Knevelbaard to a 2018 GPAC Championship and Jessica Kampman to All-American status in 2020.
The Defender men were runner-up finishers in the GPAC in 2016 and finished third in 2017 before breaking through with the program's first GPAC Title in 2018. The men repeated again as GPAC Champions in 2019 and 2020. All three of those conference champion teams Both of those teams raced at the NAIA National Championship where the 2018 team finished 10th and the 2019 team finished 16th while the 2020 team claimed 13th. Wolf coached Caleb Drake to NAIA All-American status in 2016 and he coached the GPAC individual champion, Eric Steiger, in 2018.
Wolf has been named GPAC Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year four times at Dordt University and has won the honor three times in men's cross country. He's been the USTFCCCA Regional Coach of the Year for women in 2018 and for men in 2019 and 2020. Wolf also claimed National Assistant Track Coach of the Year for the Men's Indoor season in 2021.
Coach Wolf is an assistant in the Defender Track program where he is responsible for the development of distance and middle distance runners, as well as high jumpers and hurdlers.
While our desire is to compete at a high level in our conference and nationally along with developing all our athletes to perform to the best of their God given abilities. Our philosophy is rooted in finding value and meaning in the process of training and competing, not simply in the end result. We believe that the life lessons we learn in these areas have direct application to our faith in Jesus Christ. Discipline, accountability, and responsibility are part of preparing to perform in a practice or in a race and are also part of our personal faith walk. We want to develop young women and men, who see that the application of these principles in their spiritual lives aids in deepening their faith walk, just like the application of these principles in their running or studying helps them develop as runners and students. Our faith is not integrated on top of our running, but is an integral part of our running.
Wolf was the Head Cross Country and Track and Field Coach at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, Minnesota from 2012-2015.
His first stop in collegiate coaching came at Northwestern College where he was the head track and field coach from 2005-2012 and also coached the cross country programs as an assistant or head coach for all of those years. Wolf coached 75 students who earned NAIA Scholar Athlete recognition and five teams who earned NAIA Scholar-Team accolades.
Wolf competed for Northwestern in both track and cross country from 1999-2003.
Qualified for NAIA Track Nationals in the mile and 3,000 meters
B. A. in Biology and Health Professions from Northwestern (Iowa).
M. A. in Athletic Administration from the University of South Dakota.