Steve and Liz McConkey Approach 37 Years In Athletic Ministry

Steve and Liz McConkey started in world-class track and field ministries in the fall of 1981. Steve started out as the head coach for Athletes in Action Track and Field in Eugene, Oregon.

From 1982 through 1992, Steve was a USA National Club Coach. The teams he operated were Athletes in Action (Eugene, Oregon), Lay Witnesses for Christ (Dallas-Ft. Worth), and 4 Winds USA (Minneapolis-St. Paul, founded in 1988 by Steve and Liz). Athletes were ranked eighty times.

After the 1992 Olympic Trials in New Orleans, Steve gave up his job as a USA National Club Coach. Steve and Liz then ministered to world-class track and field athletes on all teams, plus gave advice to distance runners.

In 2014, 4 Winds USA started standing up for all Christian athletes. Since 2005, the ministry has been located near the University of Wisconsin football stadium in Madison. Steve has been on worldwide radio two times per month for three years. Most of the time, covering 250 stations in 35 states, then worldwide.

Steve is a 1974 graduate of Webster High School (WI), Minnesota State University, Mankato, and Western Kentucky University where he received a Master of Science-Public Health degree in 1981.

Liz is a 1977 graduate of Mankato West High School (MN) and the University of Wisconsin-Superior with a degree in Teachers Education.

“In some ways, it seems like we just started,” states Steve McConkey. “We have ministered through nine Olympics. We had to make some bold decisions along the way, moving when we felt we were at a dead end. Each move opened up doors to minister to athletes from around the world in a greater way.

“We have met so many wonderful people along the way, Olympians to workers at fast food places. In everything, we tried to share the gospel and live the life. The key to being in the ministry for so long is to learn from your mistakes, seek forgiveness, and pray.”

In June of 2018 and 2019, they will minister at the USA Track and Field Championships in Des Moines, Iowa. Steve’s first exposure to world-class track and field was at the 1967 and 1968 Drake Relays in Des Moines while attending Dunlap Elementary. He moved to the Dairyland, Wisconsin area after the sixth grade.

Recently, they have been asked to come to Kenya to evangelize athletes through a network of 5,000 churches. No decision has been made on this. Steve and Liz do not plan to retire and they spend the summers near Danbury, Wisconsin.

Steve ran distances at Webster High School (WI), where he was third in a tough Upper St. Croix Valley Conference in cross country in 1973. He started out running at the University of Wisconsin-Superior and transferred to powerhouse Minnesota State University, Mankato. He has ran over 66,000 miles since the fall of 1971.

Before becoming the head coach of Athletes in Action, Steve was a graduate assistant for Western Kentucky University during the 1980-81 school year while getting his Master’s degree. WKU placed first at the Ohio Valley Conference Cross Country Championships with a perfect 15 points and was sixth at the NCAA Division 1 Championships. WKU track and field was first indoors at the OVC Championships and third outdoors.

Steve and Liz have three married children who earned five university degrees. They have seven grandchildren.

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