Farewell to Athletic Director Joel Popenfoose

Joel Popenfoose finished his work at Judson last week to pursue a new opportunity as the Track and Field coach at Waldorf University in Forest City, Iowa. Joel has been one of the most successful coaches at Judson. He has served as the Director of Athletics since fall 2019 and the Director of Cross Country and Track & Field since 2013. 

Under Popenfoose’s leadership, the Eagles have established 140 school records and produced 46 All-Conference performers and 17 Conference Champions.  The Eagles have also made their presence felt on a national level as they have qualified at least one athlete for every NAIA National Championship since Popenfoose began in 2013. Since 2013, the Eagles have celebrated 34 NAIA National qualifiers, 18 NAIA Daktronics Scholar-Athletes, 13 NAIA All Americans and 5 NAIA National Champions.  Eight different Eagle teams have placed at NAIA Nationals during this time with the Women’s team producing three top 20 finishes over the last two years including an 8th place finish at 2019 Indoor Nationals. In addition, 6-time National Champion Anali Cisneros recorded a 4th place finish at the 2018 USATF Outdoor Championships.  “Coach Pop” also serves as an adjunct professor in the Exercise Science department where he brings his enthusiasm, sense of humor, and heart for students to every class he teaches. 

“I’m so appreciative of Joel’s work on behalf of the athletic department and his commitment to all of our student athletes. His Christ-like approach to leadership and coaching has made a significant impact on hundreds of students, coaches, faculty and staff,” said Dr. Nikki Fennern, Executive Vice President. “We will miss him at Judson, but wish him well at this next stage in his career.” If you work on issues of eligibility and space rental, continue to connect with the Athletic staff who you have been meeting with.

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