Professor of Physical Education, Athletics and Recreation
Office: Recreation Center 228
Leon Lunder served as athletics director and chair of physical education, athletics and recreation from 1992-June 2010. He has been a member of the department since 1982.
A native of Northfield, Lunder graduated from Northfield High School in 1967 and went on to attend St. Olaf College, where he majored in physical education and health. There he played linebacker on the football team and wrestled under his father, Charles Lunder, Carleton Class of 1937 and a member of the Carleton "C" Club Hall of Fame.
After graduating from St. Olaf in 1971, Lunder taught for 11 years at Nicollet Junior High in Burnsville, Minn., serving nine years there as chairman of physical education and health. During that time, he was Nicollet's head track coach and an assistant football and head wrestling coach at Burnsville High School.
After earning his M.S. degree in physical education from Mankato State University in 1978, Lunder joined the Carleton athletics department in 1982. Since then, he has served as head wrestling coach, strength and conditioning coach, and assistant coach for both football and track, in addition to teaching several activity classes and overseeing a successful campus-wide wellness program. In 1990 he was named Carleton's first athletics coordinator.
In June 2006, Lunder won the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA)/GeneralSports TURF Systems Athletics Director of the Year award. Lunder, one of 29 national winners, was selected as the Division III winner in the west region
He was the director of the Division III women and men’s swimming and diving championship in 2006, the Division III track and field championships in 1995 and the Division III women’s tennis championships in 1993. He has taught weight training, racquetball, fitness classes, Frisbee, tennis, cross country skiing, cycling, coaching theory, coaching principles, biochemistry and human physiology. In 2003-04, he chaired the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship Committee. In 1999, Lunder chaired the Division III Track and Field Rules Committee and, in 1998-99, he was the vice president of the National Association of Division III Athletics Administrators and president in 2000-01. He was a member of the NCAA Management Council, NCAA Budget Committee and the Division III Financial Aid Task Force.
Under Lunder’s tenure as athletic director, the Knights won 23 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) titles and 10 MIAC Playoff titles. He was responsible for hiring 14 coaches who earned MIAC Coach of the Year honors. He led the efforts to build the Recreation Center, which was completed in January 2000. During Lunder’s watch, Carleton posted its best NACDA Directors Cup finish in 2008-09 (35th), which recognizes the best overall athletics program in each collegiate division.
Lunder and his wife, Claudia, reside in Northfield.