Former Iowa standout Matt Esche (pronounced esh-EE) was named assistant men's and women's cross country coach and track and field coach in August 2010 and is in his third year with the Braves.
During his first season on The Hilltop, Esche helped mentor standout Mary Goldkamp who set five school track records and earned all-conference honors in cross country, indoor track & field (mile) and outdoor track & field (800 & 1,500 meters). Goldkamp went on to compete in the 1,500 meters at the NCAA West Regional, where she reached the regional finals.
The 2011-12 school year, saw the reinstatement of the men's outdoor track and field team after Bradley disbanded the team following the 1991-92 season. Freshman Sarah McMahon was a three-time all-conference performer on the women's side after third-place finishes in the 5,000 meters at both the MVC Indoor & Outdoor Championships in addition to a seventh-place finish at the MVC Cross Country championships.
During the fall, the women's cross country finished third at the Valley championship for the team's best showing since 2009, while the men's team's seventh-place finish was also the team's best since 2009.
The 2011-12 women's track and field team collected its highest point total at the Valley's outdoor championship since 2000, while the men's team competed in its first conference championship since 1992 and finished with its highest point total since 1986. At the MVC Indoor Championship, the women's team finished seventh and also had the squad's highest point total since 2000.
Esche came to Bradley after spending the previous year with the track and field team at Butler, where he assisted with day-to-day operations of the track and field and cross country teams in addition to serving as meet director for the annual Stan Lyons track meet.
A 2006 graduate of Iowa, Esche earned degrees in english and health and sports studies during his time in Iowa City. Prior to his time at Butler, he was an assistant track and field coach at Nicholls State. The Colonels set eight track and field records during his year in Thibodaux, La., in addition to posting the school's best-ever conference and regional finishes in cross country.
Esche started his coaching career as a volunteer assistant coach at Iowa, assisting with both the cross country and track and field teams for three seasons. During his time on the coaching staff the Hawkeyes men's cross country team finished 28th at the NCAA Championship and third in the 2006 NCAA Midwest Region.
The school record holder in the 10K, Esche qualified for the NCAA Cross Country Championship in three of his four seasons and was named Iowa's Cross Country Outstanding Athlete following both his freshman and junior seasons. He also lettered in track and field, where he earned the school's Outstanding Track & Field Freshman Athlete of the Year award in 2002.