Gartenmayer Achieves Historic First

Benedictine College's Gartenmayer Achieves Historic First

Friday, March 19, 2021

Coach Charlie Gartenmayer

Never before in the recorded history of any level of college football has one man earned recognition as both an Assistant Coach of the Year and Athletic Director of the Year. Benedictine College’s Charles Gartenmayer, who serves as the college’s Athletic Director as well as the Defensive Coordinator for the Raven Football team, has achieved that ideal. This week, Gartenmayer was named the Heart of America Athletic Conference South Assistant Coach of the Year, bringing to light that he was named the American Football Coaches Association National Assistant Coach of the Year in 2002, as well as the Heart Athletic Director of the Year in 2019.

“There are not many programs, even in small schools, where the athletic director also holds a key coaching position … and is at the top of both professions,” said Benedictine College President Stephen D. Minnis. “Year after year, Charlie commits himself to excellence in everything he does, and it is heartening to see that he is being recognized for that.”

Gartenmayer was named the Heart Athletic Director of the Year for the 2018 – 2019 academic year, a year in which the Men’s Cross Country team, the Women’s Soccer team, the Women’s Lacrosse team and the Football team all competed at the highest level, going to the NAIA national championship game or meet in all 4 sports. The Men’s Basketball team also went 24-0 in conference play and made it to the second round of the NAIA National Basketball Championship Tournament. That same year, the Raven Athletic Department became the first school to win the Heart Commissioner’s Cup, an annual award to a member school that symbolizes athletic excellence in conference-sponsored championships.

This fall, Gartenmayer helped lead the Ravens to an overall record of 7-2 while finishing 4-1 in the Heart South. Through the end of the fall season, Gartenmayer’s defense currently ranks second nationally in the NAIA for opponent fourth-down conversion (17.0 percent) and total sacks (34). They also rank third nationally in rushing defense per game (69.9) and fourth in scoring defense per game (12.0). Senior linebacker Brett Shepardson was named the Heart South Defensive Player of the Year and was also the conference Co-Player of the Year.

Under his leadership as Athletic Director, Raven Athletics has continued to grow and the facilities have flourished. He has added men’s wrestling, men’s lacrosse and women’s lacrosse as intercollegiate sports. He has overseen the addition of the Asher Sports Complex - home of Benedictine Baseball and Softball - helped upgrade O’Malley Field to FieldTurf as well as add the John Casey Center to what is now known as Legacy Field.

Benedictine College is a four-year, Catholic, liberal arts college nestled in the bluffs of the Missouri River in Atchison, Kan. Raven Athletics competes in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) as a member of the Heart of America Athletic Conference.