New Athletics Director Has a Winning Attitude
Photo by Gary Gold
Athletics has always been a part of Ken Ralphs life. Beginning at the age of 7 and throughout his high school and college years, he competed as a top swimmer in races that took him to 47 states and several countries, including Germany and Canada.
As Rensselaers new athletics director, Ralph has moved to a new playing field to bring the universitys highly regarded athletics program to the next level and further enhance the student experience.
Athletics is a key component to student life, Ralph says. Its part of the enjoyment and sense of accomplishment that students get out of their college years. It bonds students to one another and to the university, creating a memorable college experience.
A graduate of the University of Alaska-Anchorage with a bachelors degree in political science, Ralph was a five-time NCAA Division II All-American in swimming (butterfly and backstroke) and became a U.S. Senior National Qualifier in 1989 and 1990. Prior to coming to Rensselaer, Ralph was senior assistant athletics director at Connecticut College in New London, where he oversaw a 26-team Division III sports program and directed the Lott Natatorium. Ralph also served as head swim coach of both the mens and womens programs.
Since he began his tenure in 1998, every one of his swim teams has earned Academic All-America status from the College Swim Coaches Association of America. He also earned the 2000 Andrew Chait award for outstanding service to Connecticut College and its athletics department.
Ralph began his head-coaching career in 1992 at Georgetown University, where his mens and womens swim teams broke 17 school records in two years. He was chosen as the 1996 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Coach of the Year.
Ralph will oversee the Institutes 23 NCAA intercollegiate varsity teams involving nearly 600 students.
Im amazed by the students at Rensselaer and look forward to bringing their athletics experience to the next level, Ralph says. They take on difficult course loads and push themselves in academia. Its one of the reasons athletics has been very successful at Rensselaer. These students are focused.