LSSU Hires New Head Coach
Reported June 25, 2002 for the Sault Evening News
Sault Ste Marie, Michigan

SAULT STE. MARIE -- Lake Superior State University has announced the hiring of Andrew Ludtke as head coach of its cross country and track programs.

Ludtke graduated cum laude from LSSU in 1999, and has a Masters degree in sports psychology from the University of North Texas in Denton. While at Lake State, he played basketball and ran cross country and track. He coached cross country and served as an assistant track coach last year at UNT.

"I'm thrilled to be returning to Lake Superior, and to be able to coach where I was an athlete," said Ludtke. I want to work with college athletes, to help them improve and to continue to build the program that D.J. Baars put together here."

Baars resigned in May to pursue a teaching position in Arizona.

"D.J. did a great job for us for six years," said Laker athletic director Bill Crawford. "He put everything he had into building up the programs, but coaching four teams is a tough task. We're just happy D.J. gave us all that he did. Now, we have Drew coming home, and we couldn't be happier about that. He was an outstanding athlete here and a high-character person. He will bring enthusiasm and some new coaching ideas with him, and that will only benefit our student athletes."

Ludtke was a member of the Lakers' 1996 GLIAC-tournament-championship basketball team, and ran on the nationally-ranked Lakers' cross country team in 1997. He won the Bud Cooper Athletic Award in 1999, served as president of the University's Honors Program in 1998, and was an Athlete of the Year (Frank Hoholik Award) nominee in 1999, was nominated for the All America Scholar Athlete Award for 1995-99 and made the LSSU Dean's List in seven of his eight semesters at LSSU.

He placed eighth in the Sun Belt Conference meet in the mile in 2000, with a time of four minutes. He was fifth in the 800-meter in the GLIAC track meet in 1998, and was a top-three performer his last two years with the Laker cross country team.

"We had some very good candidates for this job, but Drew matched up with any in coaching experience and background," Crawford said. "His alumus status, knowledge of us and what we are all about and his feel for the program put him over the top. We're confident he will do a great job for many years here."

In other LSSU track news, Lake State has announced the signing of Karen Abramczyk of Dearborn Heights to run women's track.

Abramczyk is a four-year varsity letterwinner in basketball and track at Lutheran High School. She is the 2002 Metro Conference Champion in the high jump, long jump, and was on the 800 and 1600 meter relay teams.

Abramczyk overcame knee and hip injuries this season to qualify for the 2002 State Track and Field finals in both the high and long jumps. She holds the school and conference record in the high jump at 5-5. Abramczyk also placed sixth at the AAU Nationals in the triple jump.