Head Track and Field Coach Chris Gafner
Chris Gafner is in his 13th year at Vincennes University and his 13th season as head coach of the VU Men's and Women's Track & Field and Cross Country Teams. He also coaches VU Cross Country student-athletes to compete in the NJCAA Half-Marathon Championship Meet each season.

Since Coach Gafner took over the Trailblazer programs, VU has had 26 national champions and more than 60 NJCAA All-Americans. In addition, he has overseen the NJCAA careers of five NJCAA national athletes of the year and more than 160 national placers. Coach Gafner was the 2012 NJCAA Coach of the Year, the 2015 & 16 Men's Cross Country Region XII Coach of the Year, and was the 2016 Midwest Region Coach of the Year.

The Trailblazer men and women have turned in 24 top-10 team finishes and five top-5 team performances at indoor and outdoor national championship meets during Coach Gafner’s VU tenure.

In additiona to athletic success, Coach Gafner’s cross country and track & field teams have won numerous academic awards. Both teams have finished in the top 3 nationally in team grade-point average on several occasions and have claimed numerous individual NJCAA and USTFCCCA Academic All-American awards.

Prior to VU, Coach Gafner was an assistant track & field and cross country coach at Lansing Community College in 2002 and 2003. He was the head track & field and cross country coach for the 2001 and 2002 seasons at Mt. Vernon Academy in Salt Lake City, UT.

A 2001 graduate of Siena Heights University, he also attended Lansing Community College. During his college career, Coach Gafner was a seven-time national qualifier in track and a member of two national champion cross country teams.

Coach Gafner and his wife, Linzie, have three children: John, Emma and James.

Contact Info: 812-888-5178 or cgafner@vinu.edu


Assistant Coach Ariane Bell
Ariane Bell will be in her initial season coaching at VU, after graduating from Bethel College in the spring of 2015. She will work with throwers.

Bell was a two-time NJCAA National Championships qualifier in the weight throw and shot put during her VU career from 2010-12. She then transferred to Bethel and became NCCAA All-American in the weight throw and shot put. Bell was also the 2015 conference champion in the discus and a two-time conference champion in the shot put.

She was also a two-time state finals qualifier in high school.


Assistant Coach Tim Marsee
Tim Marsee has been coaching track & field athletes for 16 years and he is looking forward to his ninth highly successful year working with pole vaulters, throwers and multis for the Trailblazers when the 2017 spring season arrives. During that time, Marsee – who is a USATF Level I-certified coach - has helped VU to 16 national championships - 12 in pole vault, three in throwing events and two in multis.

Also, Trailblazer athletes working closely with Marsee have posted six national runner-up finishes, while amassing more than 20 NJCAA All-American awards and more than 30  USTFCCCA All-American honors. Among the VU pole vaulters reaching All-American status in recent years was Marsee’s son, Blake. In addition, VU has had three national record-holders in events that Marsee focuses on.

As a result of all that success, Marsee is a three-time NJCAA Assistant Coach of the Year and was the 2015 USA Track & Field Association Assistant Coach of the Year for the Atlantic Division.

Along with the VU success, Marsee was the head track & field coach at South Knox High School for six years, registering a meet record of 279 wins and 24 losses plus individual state champions and record-holders. The victories included sectional championships in 2006 and ’07 and the 2006 Blue Chip Conference title. Marsee was the conference coach of the year that season as well.

Coach Marsee and his wife of 28 years, Sara, have two children, Brianne and Blake, and a granddaughter, Sydney Blake.


Assistant Coach Les Martin
Les Martin began his Trailblazer coaching tenure with the 2015 track & field season, working with the middle-distance and distance runners. A student at VU from 1976-78, Martin was the head track & field coach at Brebeuf Jesuit Prep School in Indianapolis, IN; track & field and cross country coach at Harshman Middle School in Indianapolis; track & field and cross country coach at Arsenal Technical in Indianapolis and track & field and cross country coach at George Washington High School in Indianapolis.

He was also track & field and cross country coach at Crispus Attucks, Northwest, John Marshall and Emmerich Manual high schools in Indianapolis over the years. In addition, Martin was formerly the track & field meet director for the conference championship of Indianapolis Public Schools two years and USATF youth chairperson for Indiana for two years.

He was the IPS boys cross country Coach of the Year in 2001 and ’02 and guided two cross country teams to consecutive conference championships. Martin was the last IPS coach to lead a cross country team to a regional meet and was the last coach of an IPS athlete to win back-to-back championships in the 3200 meter run.

Along with his coaching achievements, Martin has competed in seven marathons, including the Boston and New York marathons.

Terri Wise
Bio coming soon...

Blake Albrecht








Coach Albrecht enters his first season working with the distance track athletes and cross country teams. Albrecht was a 2015 graduate of Franklin College where he earned All-HCAC Honors both on the track, and on the grass. He is a native of Washington, Indiana, and was a 2011 graduate of local Washington High School.