At an on-campus ceremony on Friday (Sept. 22), four individuals and one team officially took their places as members of the Concordia Athletic Hall of Fame. The exclusive group of alums were recognized for their exceptional contributions to the athletic programs at Concordia and for exemplifying the Christian principles to which Concordia adheres. Read on for bios on each Hall of Fame class of 2017 inductee.
Eunice Goldgrabe ‘66
A contributor to Concordia University during six different decades, Eunice Goldgrabe has been known as a trailblazer for female athletics. During a professional career that spanned from 1967-2011, Goldgrabe served numerous roles as a coach, professor, committee member and health and human performance department chair. Due to her influence, Concordia emerged as one of the first colleges in Nebraska to offer competitive sports for female athletes. At various times during her years of service, “Coach G” coached basketball, field hockey, tennis, track and field, softball and volleyball. She led the 1984 Bulldog softball team to a NIAC championship and was an assistant coach for Concordia Athletic Hall of Fame volleyball teams of 1981 and 1995. For her significant contributions over time, Goldgrabe earned the Pathfinder Award from the Division of Girls & Women in Sport of the National Association of Sport & Physical Education, which recognized her as a pioneer in paving the way for female athletes in the state of Nebraska and at Concordia.
Goldgrabe graduated from Concordia with an education degree in 1966. She went on to receive her master’s from the University of Northern Colorado and her doctorate from Middle Tennessee State University. Her is a member of Phi Epsilon Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi and the National Association for Physical Education in Higher Education. She is also active in Kiwanis and the League of Women Voters. She attends St. John Lutheran in Seward. As a student at Concordia, Goldgrabe participated in band, orchestra and brass choir all four years. She served on the intramural council and was named the 1966 female intramural athlete of the year. The strong mentors Goldgrabe encountered as a student influenced her to return to Concordia and Seward for most of her life.
Jason Jisa ‘05
A member of one of the top teams in the history of Concordia men’s basketball, Jason Jisa starred on the hardwood after transferring from the University of Nebraska. A captain on the 2004-05 national semifinal team, Jisa accumulated career totals of 1,117 points, 477 rebounds, 199 assists, 159 steals and 96 blocks over three seasons as a Bulldog. On the program’s all-time career lists, Jisa ranks eighth in blocked shots and 10th in steals. Among his many honors, Jisa earned third team NAIA All-America and team captain of the Omaha World-Herald All-Nebraska team as a senior. He was a two-time GPAC defensive player of the year and two-time first team all-conference award winner. He spurred teams coached by Grant Schmidt to two GPAC tournament championships, two national tournament appearances, six national tournament wins and a school single-season record 32 victories in 2004-05. At the 2005 national championships, Jisa collected all-tournament team and Hustle Award honors.
A 2005 graduate, Jason is the father of Henry Jisa and currently resides in Lincoln, Nebraska. From 2006 to 2013, Jason served as the recreation director at the Nebraska State Penitentiary. Since 2013, Jisa has worked as a sales representative at Sandhills Publishing in Lincoln. Outside of work, Jisa keeps active as a youth basketball and baseball coach and continues to compete in local adult basketball and slow pitch softball leagues. He is a member of the North American Martyrs Catholic Church in Lincoln.
Martin Strohschein ‘02
One of the top players in Concordia men’s golf history, Martin Strohschein held 18 individual school records upon his graduation in 2002. At the conclusion of his collegiate career, Strohschein had broken the program standard for lowest career 18-hole average (79.95). A star performer the moment he stepped on campus, Strohschein earned first team all-conference accolades all four years. He was also selected by teammates as the captain and team MVP each of his four seasons at Concordia. His score of 68 stands as a program single-round record. An exceptional student, Strohschein garnered NAIA Scholar-Athlete recognition as both a junior and senior. He was a member of the 2001-02 team that is also receiving induction into the Concordia Athletic Hall of Fame this weekend. Strohschein was coached by Dr. Carl Everts.
Strohschein’s greatest memory from his time at Concordia was meeting his wife Amanda. Martin and Amanda have four children: Lucy, Samuel, Caeden and Gabriel. As a student, Martin studied business administration and pre-seminary, leading into a calling as a pastor. From 2006 to 2013, Strohschein served as pastor at Living Water Lutheran Church in Buckeye, Arizona. He then became the associate pastor at Cross of Christ Lutheran Church in Anthem, Arizona. When reflecting on how his relationship with Concordia influenced his life, Strohschein wrote, “The biggest changes in my life happened at Concordia. My professors and friends there influenced me toward a life of faith in Jesus. I am forever grateful for my time at CUNE.”
Stephanie (Beberniss) Tietjen ‘04
Concordia’s first female pole vault star, Stephanie (maiden name Beberniss) Tietjen paved the way for future female pole vaulters. During the 2003 track and field seasons, Tietjen accomplished an incredible feat by sweeping both indoor and outdoor national championships and indoor and outdoor GPAC titles in the pole vault. Not only a two-time national champ, Tietjen raked in a total of six NAIA All-America awards and eight All-GPAC honors during her distinguished career that included four GPAC individual championships. Prior to 2015, Tietjen held school records for the indoor and outdoor pole vault. Tietjen was coached by pole vault coach Gene Brooks and head coach Kregg Einspahr. Said Brooks of Tietjen’s run in 2003, “That was just pure domination. I’m not sure that’s ever been duplicated by any athlete here. For her to pull that off was really impressive.” Academically, Tietjen earned the GPAC Pflieger-Olson Scholar-Athlete award as a junior and senior.
A 2004 graduate with a degree in psychology, Stephanie is married to Eric Tietjen, who played football at Concordia. Stephanie and Eric have three children: Elle, Bayleigh and Brecken. Formerly a professional in business development, real estate law and project management, Stephanie is currently employed as a realtor for Keller Williams Realty in Lincoln, Nebraska. Stephanie volunteers her time for City Impact and is a member of First Evangelical Free Church in Lincoln. Says Tietjen, “Concordia University was a blessing to my life. I was inspired by my coach to be not only a great athlete, but more importantly, to live an impactful life for the Lord.
2001-02 Men’s Golf
Led by Dr. Carl Everts, the 2001-02 men’s golf team broke 13 school records during a season that ended with a trip to the NAIA regional tournament for the third consecutive year. The squad featured senior Martin Strohschein, a four-time first team all-conference performer. In addition to Strohschein, the postseason roster included Matt Blackford, Jon Boll, Bryan Emerson and Kyle Klepacki. The Bulldogs won three tournament championships, including two Concordia Invites and the Doane Invite. Concordia went on to finish second at the GPAC championships with a two-day total of 627. At the conclusion of the season, the 2001-02 team owned school records for best 18-hole score (300) and best 54-hole score (947).
Head coach: Carl Everts
Assistant coach: Al Sheehan