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Cyber Warriors end season as 10th-best cyber defense team in the nation

May 1, 2024
team photo of indiana tech's cyber warriors

Indiana Tech’s 2023-24 Cyber Warriors, from left to right. Back row: Coach Matt Hansen, Myles Nieman, Tim Bukowski, Zach Hampton, Nick Caulk, John Rudolph; Middle row: Bryce Murphy, Jeremy MacRoberts, Sam Regelbrugge, Tristan Lybarger, Riley Boroff; Front row: Martin Quintana, Garrett Bates, Vanessa Krueger, Peter Allison; Not pictured: Hayden LeFlech

Indiana Tech’s Cyber Warriors, the university’s cyber defense team, completed its Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (CCDC) season ever over the weekend with a 10th-place finish at the national competition in San Antonio, Texas.

For the small-but-mighty Cyber Warriors, it’s the highest national ranking the squad has ever achieved and it finds itself standing among giants like the University of Texas, the University of Virginia, Brigham Young University, Oregon State University and California State Polytechnic University as the nation’s best.

“I am very proud of our performance at nationals. We started out strong and actually held first place for almost the first three hours of the two-day competition,” said Cyber Warriors coach Matt Hansen. “What hurt us was the fact we had the only roster in the competition with zero experience at the national level. When we return to nationals next year, we will be able to use this experience and the knowledge gained to our strategic advantage.”

Hansen said the Cyber Warriors were commended during the awards ceremony for their tenacity and positive professional attitudes. The director of the competition later followed up with an email to Hansen that echoed the sentiments extolled from the ceremony.

“The director said it was a pleasure working with the Cyber Warriors during the event and that we will always be welcome at the National Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition,” Hansen said. “That the national director went out of his way to tell me how much respect he has for our team makes me very proud.”

Members of this year’s Cyber Warriors team include Peter Allison, Garrett Bates, Riley Boroff, Timothy Bukowski, Nick Caulk, Zach Hampton, Vanessa Krueger, Hayden LaFlech, Tristan Lybarger, Jeremy MacRoberts, Bryce Murphy, Myles Nieman, Martin Quintana, Sam Regelbrugge and John Rudolph. Coach Hansen is an Indiana Tech alum who was a championship-winning Cyber Warrior himself during his time as a Tech student.

To get to this year’s national competition, the Cyber Warriors won its 10th straight and 17th overall Indiana Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition in January. They punched their ticket to San Antonio by winning the Midwest Regional in March, ousting perennial powerhouse and nemesis DePaul University in the process.

“The name we’ve made for ourselves on this stage is astounding, and I’m so proud of this program,” Hansen said. “For next season, our goal is to emerge as the best CCDC team from Indiana and the Midwest and have an even stronger showing at nationals.”

During collegiate cyber defense competitions, teams work to combat attempted network security breaches and related challenges that test their problem-solving, technical abilities and teamwork at every turn.

For five years running, every member of the Cyber Warriors has secured a job in their career field prior to graduating. Indiana Tech has also established a growing national reputation as a producer of top talent in the cybersecurity field, having recently been recognized as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.