GNAC Insider Podcast: Spatz, Merritt & Langford
Bruce Langford has led Simon Fraser to a 10-6 GNAC record and a berth into the conference tournament.
Bruce Langford has led Simon Fraser to a 10-6 GNAC record and a berth into the conference tournament.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

PORTLAND, Ore. – GNAC Insider aired its 83rd episode on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. Pacific time. The show featured Northwest Nazarene head track and field coach John Spatz, Concordia outfielder and pitcher Karlie Merritt and Simon Fraser head women’s basketball coach Bruce Langford.

Spatz is in his 15th year as head coach for both the Northwest Nazarene track and field and cross country teams. Now in his 30th year as a collegiate coach, Spatz has helped develop 80 All-Americans and six individual national champions. In 2009, he led the Northwest Nazarene men’s team to its top Division II national meet finish in 16th place. He also led the women’s team to its best finish in 2008 when it placed 22nd. Northwest Nazarene will host the GNAC Indoor Track and Field Championships for the 14th straight year at the Jacksons Indoor Center at the Ford Idaho Center in Nampa, Idaho. Spatz spoke about hosting the indoor championships, some of the top performances for NNU this season and the expectations for the meet.

Merritt is a junior outfielder and pitcher for the Concordia softball team. Last season, she appeared in 12 games with three as a starting pitcher, finishing with a 1-2 overall record in 18.1 innings pitched. This season, Merritt has pitched two games out of the bullpen as the Cavaliers have started with a 4-5 overall record. Concordia competed at the MSUB Desert Stinger to start the season and will host the Northwest Cup in Clackamas, Ore., this weekend. The Cavaliers are in their first season in the GNAC and in the second year of a three-year transition period to the NCAA Division II. Merritt spoke about the team's run to third place in the NAIA last season, the transition to NCAA Division II and playing on the same team as her sister.

Langford is the head women’s basketball coach at Simon Fraser where he has enjoyed continual success since joining the Clan in 2001. He owns a career 370-93 record and entered this season at 84-57 since the Clan since joined Division II in 2010. This season, the Clan are in fourth place and have clinched a berth to the GNAC Championships with a 10-6 GNAC record. Simon Fraser has had some of the top individual performances this season in GNAC history including Elisa Homer’s record breaking 12 three-pointers on Feb. 4 and Ellen Kett’s record-tying 16 assists on Feb. 11. The Clan host two other tournament bound teams this week in Western Washington on Tuesday and Montana State Billings on Thursday. Langford spoke about the team's success without top player Meg Wilson all season, the progress all season of the younger players and the upcoming tests against Western Washington and Montana State Billings. 

GNAC Insider is hosted by Rob Lowery airing live at 7 p.m. Pacific every Tuesday and is produced by the conference office. All episodes become available as free podcasts via iTunes. To listen to archived episodes go to GNAC.TV.