Not every Concordia graduate spends all four years on campus. Instead, a number of Cobbers first spend time at another school before transferring to Concordia. Transfer student athletes are no different, arriving to school with their maroon beanies and unique stories of how they decided Concordia College was the place for them.
Junior men’s basketball player Lane Voltz came to Concordia to continue his education after receiving his two-year graduate degree from Williston State College. It was basketball that brought him here, but it was the community that made Concordia home.
“It’s tough to come in as transfer not having been involved since the beginning like most, but the team was really welcoming,” Voltz said. “They made it easy to become a part of the team.”
California native Sean-Paul Guilford, a junior on the football team, shared the same sentiment after transferring from Eastern New Mexico University. In his second year at Concordia, Guilford still remembers the warm welcome he received from the Cobber football team.
After Guilford landed in Minneapolis with no car to get him to Moorhead, Defensive Backs, Special Teams Co-Coordinator, and Co-Recruiting Coordinator Brian Mistro made the drive to pick him up.
“[Concordia] is the first place I really felt cared for as a player,” Guilford said.
Having come from a Division II University, Guilford felt a different type of atmosphere at Concordia.
“The work put in is just as hard and the focus is just as serious,” Guilford said. “But the education is more stressed and the coaches understand that.”
Recruiting a Division II transfer student like Guilford is different than recruiting someone at a high school level. Division III coaches cannot contact any players at the Division I or II level already playing in a season at another college without permission from that college’s athletic director.
However, Division III athletes can reach out to another Division III school by filling out a self-release permission-to-contact form—which is exactly what Grace Wolhowe did during her freshman year at St. Ben’s.
Wolhowe, a junior on the women’s basketball team, filled out the proper self-release forms to contact head coach Jessica Rahman. Wolhowe remembered Rahman recruiting her out of high school, which is why Wolhowe was so comfortable reaching out to her.
“When I chose St. Ben’s she was very understanding about it,” Wolhowe said. “She made sure I knew the door was open if I ever changed my mind. When I reached out to her during the season, she was very supportive through the process.”
Michael Heitzman, a junior football player, also remembered his preliminary visits with the Concordia coaches coming out of high school. These interactions were a major factor in his decision to transfer from Gustavus Adolphus College during the spring semester of his sophomore year.
Heitzman felt comfortable reaching out to Coach Terry Horan and his enthusiasm was returned.
“[Coach Horan] was very welcoming and helpful during my transition and making the decision to come here,” Heitzman said.
Opportunities on the football field were not the only thing that drew Heitzman to Concordia. As a social studies education major, Heitzman was drawn to the academic aspect of Concordia as well.
“Concordia has a strong education department,” Heitzman said. “And being able to graduate in four years while playing football is a great opportunity and something I was unable to do at Gustavus.”
Voltz also felt education was an important factor in making the decision to attend Concordia.
“Being able to continue my education at a prestigious college was a big factor in choosing Concordia,” Voltz said.
As a healthcare administration major, Wolhowe is happy with her decision to transfer.
“I love it here,” Wolhowe said. “It’s a great community and I’m glad this is where I ended up.”
Guilford, Heitzman, and Voltz share Wolhowe’s love for Concordia. However, Guilford does have one piece of advice for future transfer athletes.
“Bring a coat,” Guilford said.
Abby is a junior majoring in Business with a concentration in Marketing and a minor in English Writing. She enjoys attending sporting events, making bets, and winning. This is her first year on the Concordian team!