Karen Lutzke enters her sixth season as the head coach for both the
women’s cross country and track and field teams at Central Michigan
Lutzke came to CMU in 1999 as an assistant coach for both the
cross country and track and field programs. She took charge of both
squads in 2004. During her time at CMU, Lutzke has had a number of
athletes earn individual honors. Tamera Thomas won the Most Outstanding
Performer honor at the MAC Indoor Championships in both 2005 and 2006
and Jenaie Edwards is a two-time MAC champion who was a national
qualifier in the 400m in 2006. Najah Floyd captured both the 200m
and 400m MAC titles outdoors In 20007 and was a national qualifier in
the 400m. In all, 11 of Lutzke’s athletes have combined for a total of
28 All-MAC selections and 16 individual titles in track and field. She
has coached six athletes to eight All-MAC selections in cross country.
Lutzke guided the Chippewas to a sweep of the Mid-American
Conference indoor and outdoor crowns during the 2004 season, earning
MAC Coach of the Year honors for both the indoor and outdoor seasons.
She was also named regional Coach of the Year for her efforts during
the outdoor season. She earned MAC cross country Coach of the Year
honors in 2000 after guiding CMU to its first outright conference
championship in cross country.
Lutzke’s athletes have also enjoyed a wealth of success in the classroom. CMU had eight student-athletes named to the Academic All-MAC teams in 2007-08, with two Chippewas honored for cross country, three for indoor track and three recognized for outdoor track. In all, 33 student-athletes have been named Academic All-MAC under Lutzke.
The women’s track and field program has also been recognized nationally for the academic success of its athletes. CMU was recognized by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) with the the team academic award in 2007, marking the fourth consecutive season that it earned that honor. In addition, both Kelly McClure and Erin Dillon were named to the USTFCCCA All-Academic team following the 2007 season.
Lutzke came to CMU from Olivet College, where she was the head coach for the women’s and men’s cross country teams as well as the women’s track and field team from 1998-99. At Olivet, she coached one All-American and one national qualifier in cross country and track and field.
Prior to her stint at Olivet, Lutzke spent 1990-98 at Michigan State University where she served as the head women’s cross country coach and assistant track and field coach.
At MSU, she coached five All-Americans, three Academic All-Americans, 17 NCAA qualifiers in track and field, and four national qualifiers in cross country. Lutzke led the 1996 cross country team to a fourth-place finish in the Big Ten, which was MSU’s highest finish since 1982.
Lutzke earned a bachelor of science degree from Michigan State in 1985. She was a member of the Spartan cross country and track and field teams from 1980-84, earning All-America honors in both 1981 and 1984. Lutzke helped her team to a Big Ten cross country championship, a fourth-place national finish and a Big 10 track title in 1982. In addition, she was an Olympic Trials qualifier in the 5000m and 10,000m in 1984 and the 10,000m in 1988.
her husband, Mitch, live in Williamston with their children Matthew,
Gregory, and Laura. Lutzke is a USA Track and Field Level I certified