2017-18 Cycling
2017-18 Cycling Coaches
Dean Peterson Image
Dean Peterson
Head Coach - 12th Season
Phone: 317.955.6340
  • Arguably one of the most successful coaches in the country in any sport, Dean Peterson enters his 10th season at the helm of the most successful program in collegiate cycling history.
  • In addition to his duties as head cycling coach, Peterson is also the director of the Indy Cycloplex where he leads a small staff and community volunteers dedicated to advancing the mission of cycling in central Indiana. He is also the founder and director of Power Booster, Indy's premier indoor cycling studios.
  • Peterson brings 33 years of bicycle racing experience and 27 years of teaching experience to Marian University and the Indy Cycloplex. He has coached, trained or raced in Europe, Africa and Cuba. He is a USA Cycling Level 2 coach and a three-time national champion.
  • Over his first nine seasons, Peterson led MU to unprecedented success. During his tenure, he has undertaken a strategic shift in the program to advance MU cycling from its track cycling roots to a five-discipline focused program that excels within the team concept.
  • Peterson leads the team with a school-first philosophy, reminding student-athletes that they are students first and that being a responsible citizen and community member is just as important as being a top-notch cyclist. It is this philohosophy which serves as the cornerstone for the cycling team’s three straight (2013, 2014, 2015) USA Cycling Club of the Year awards, which evaluates not only on-bike performance, but team GPA, retention, post-graduation success, and community engagement.
  • The Knights, under Peterson's tutelage, have won the last three USA Cycling Collegiate Overall Team Omnium titles as the most prolific program in the country. The award is bestowed upon the collegiate program that has had the most success in all five disciplines for the year, which spans from August through May. Last season, the Knights won four national championships in the five disciplines with a runner-up finish in the fifth. MU won the track, cyclo-cross, BMX and road discipline titles while finishing second in the mountain bike discipline. Over the last three seasons, MU has won each of the same four titles and has consistently improved in the mountain bike discipline.
  • In 2015-16, the Knights have won their tenth straight D1 collegiate track cycling title, fifth straight CX title. Updated after BMX nats (would be fourth straight)
  • After arriving at MU and maintaining the success on the track (MU had one eight previous titles), Peterson first built the dynasty that is the road program. He has been quoted as saying the road competition is the "crown jewel" event that most people know the most about. He moved to the off-road disciplines and had immediate success that has maintained.
  • His strategy is to develop riders in each of the disciplines to develop a team that can compete in each of the disciplines and it has paid immediate dividends. The development of the BMX track at the Indy Cycoplex, which Marian operates in partnership with Indy Parks and Recreation, has seen an explosion in the development of that program. One Marian University student-athlete, Felicia Stancil, won BMX gold at the 2015 Pan American Games and is a Team USA hopeful for the 2016 Olympic Games. Meanwhile, graduate Coryn Rivera represented the United States at the road world championships in September 2015 in Richmond, Va, and is also vying for a spot at the Rio Games.
  • Prior to overseeing and maintaining the Indy Cycloplex, Peterson oversaw the development of the Paul J. Norman Cycling Center in 2007. The popular indoor training series known as PowerBooster, which is housed at the cycling center, was built to allow cyclists the opportunity to ply their craft within a confined environment not affected by the weather. He is well-known in cycling circles in Indianapolis and has cultivated sponsor relationships that culminated in the development of the center, the team and the Indy Cycloplex.
  • Peterson earned a bachelor of science degree from Purdue University in 1988 and a master of science degree from Butler University in 1997. He currently resides in Indianapolis with his wife and their two children.
Michael Kubancsek Image
Michael Kubancsek
Manager - 6th Season
Alma Mater - Marian University
  • A 2013 summa cum laude graduate of Marian University, Kubancsek serves at the Director of Operations for the national champion Marian University cycling team.
  • While in school, Kubancsek raced for the team on the road and trail while earning his degree in communication and philosophy.
  • Kubancsek’s skills in logistics management, marketing, equipment and as sponsorship liaison have contributed to the team’s three straight D1 team omnium championships.
  • As a USA Cycling-certified Race Mechanic, Kubancsek manages the team’s equipment fleet of bikes, wheels and components in five disciplines, assists the athletes in managing their personal equipment and provides mechanical support during race events.
  • Also the Director of Operations at the Indy Cycloplex, Kubancsek helps in event operations for all cycling disciplines and works in public and community relations.
Natarsha Birk Image
Natarsha Birk
Assistant Coach - 4th Season
  • An Australia native, Birk has been in the cycling industry since moving to the United States in 2000.
  • Coaching all disciplines with a specific focus on the team's BMX and mountain bike programs, Birk comes to the three-time defending collegiate BMX national champions with vast BMX racing success, including two world championships (1996 and 2000), three World Cup championships, two European championships and a national championship from her home nation.
  • Originally from Innisfail, Queensland, Birk has been racing bikes since age 5. She turned professional in the sport of BMX at 16 and raced internationally, in 17 countries, until 2004. 
Curtis Tolson
Assistant Coach - 3rd Season
  • Tolson has been working with Marian University behind the scenes for several years primarily in the areas of support at the track and developing training plans for riders.
  • As a training plan consultant and track coach, Tolson will also continue his work with the team this year on the road and track and as a training plan consultant, as well as with recruiting
  • With 34 years of race experience, Tolson has 40 national championships on the track.
  • He founded and co-manages the Texas Roadhouse cycling team
Ryan Birk
Assistant Coach - 6th Season
Alma Mater - Marian University
  • Coach Birk, a Marian University graduate, brings over 20 years of BMX background to the program and has recently moved back to Indianapolis with his family.
  • Instrumental in adding the BMX discipline to the Marian University cycling portfolio of championships, Birk help guide the Knights to their first collegiate BMX national championship in 2013.
  • The vice president at Answer BMX, Birk has been in the BMX industry for a long time and his presence at nearly every race on the USABMX National Calendar assists with recruiting for the Knights and spreading the word about collegiate BMX opportunities.
Jason Blodgett Image
Jason Blodgett
Assistant Coach - 1st Season
Alma Mater - Marian University
Daniel Gerow
Assistant Coach - 3rd Season

Gerow is a 2014 Marian University alumnus and is now a second-year medical school student at Marian's College of Osteopathic Medicine. He serves as a part-time assistant coach with a focus on consulting with student-atheltes on training, recovery, nutrition, balance, and wellness. 

Coryn Rivera
Recruiting Assistant - 3rd Season
Alma Mater - Marian University

Coryn serves as a RECRUITING SPECIALIST for the Cycling Knights during her travel domestically and abroad as a professional cyclist for the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team. 

Matt Gittings Image
Matt Gittings
Assistant Coach - 3rd Season
Alma Mater - Marian University

Assistant coach for TRACK