The first national championship won by Concordia athletic teams came in 1964 when the Cobbers defeated Linfield, Ore., in the playoffs, then tied Sam Houston State 7-7 in the National Association for Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) football title game. Coached by the legendary Jake Christiansen, the Cobbers were voted National Champions by the national sports media at the conclusion of the season, according to the tradition of that era.
In 1978 the Cobbers, coached by former player Jim Christopherson, won the NAIA Division III national championship in football. The Cobbers defeated Northwestern, Iowa 49-0, Linfield, Oregon 24-23 to advance to the title game against Findlay, Ohio, which ended with a 7-0 victory for the Cobbers.
A second national championship for a Christopherson coached football team came in 1981 when the Cobbers earned a co-championship of NAIA with a 24-24 tie with Austin State of Texas. In the playoffs, the Cobbers defeated Dickinson State 13-9, and Westminster, Penn., 23-17.
In 1982 the women’s basketball team, coached by Marc Langseth, won the national championship for small colleges sponsored by the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW), a forerunner to NCAA Division III women’s sports.
In 1987 the Cobbers, coached by Duane Siverson, finished second in the new NCAA Division III tournament, but came back the following year in 1988 and won the national championship on the Cobber’s home court. Several All-Americans and Jessica Beachy ‘88, who was named NCAA DIII National Player of the Year, led the team.
Cobbers have also won individual national championships in NCAA Division III.
Barry Bennett ’78 won a wrestling national championship in the heavy weight class in 1978.
Kris Kuehl ’92 won the national championship in the discus at the DIII national track meet for three straight years from 1990-92. Kuehl went on to compete for the United State Olympic Team in the discus at the 2002 Olympics.
Renee Erickson followed in Kuehl's footsteps as a three-time national champion. Erickson won three straight NCAA national titles in the javelin from 1994-96.
Aaron Banks ’96 won three DIII national championships in track and field during his Cobber career. He won the indoor shot put titles in 1995 and 1996. In 1995 he won the national title in the outdoor discus throw. Banks was also a four-time runner up at the NCAA DIII national track meet.
Annie Cullen ’06 won the 2006 DIII national championship in diving.
Phil Moenkedick '11 won the 2010 Division III national championship in wrestling. Moenkedick compiled a 29-2 record on his way to winning the title in the 184-lb weight class. He then backed that feat up by claiming the 2011 Division III national championship as well. Monekedick finished his career with a 135-10. His 135 career victories and 64 career pin falls are school records. Since his freshman season, Moenkedick went 98-4 and lost only twice to Division III opponents.
Cherae Reeves '15 became the third Concordia women's track and field athlete to earn a national championship when she captured the NCAA crown in the shot put at the 2015 NCAA National Indoor Meet.