Episode 27 – Deb Vercauteren and John Zupanc

We have a great one today! Coaches Deb Vercauteren and John Zupanc of UW Oshkosh. Both coaches have transformed Division 3 running and have left lasting impact on the sport and division. Deb Vercauteren may sound familiar as it is the name of the Women’s Program of the Year of Award. Deb boasted an impressive Resume with 18 total titles and 43 podium finishes across Cross Country and Track during her time at Oshkosh. Not only that, Deb literally started the UW Oshkosh from scratch as she convinced her administration to start cross country in 1981.

Her Husband, John Zupanc, had a storied career as well winning 6 total titles and 13 top 4 finishes in cross country and track. He was the first coach to lead their team to 3 peat in cross country. After taking 8th at his first WIAC conference, he vowed to never be that low again. And his team weren’t.

Their coolest accomplishment happened in 1988 when both Deb and John led their teams to a team title on the same day.

But to them, the titles and trophies weren’t the reasons they got into coaching. They enjoyed forming relationships and pushing their student-athletes to be the best they can be. We learned how they got into coaching, the early days of their programs, and what they love about the Division. We thoroughly enjoyed this conversation and we hope you do too.

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