Colorado College is looking for a new athletic director for the school. After 11 years at CC, Ken Ralph has moved on to the University of Maine, and the search for his successor is in full swing. Greg Capell has been named the interim director until a full-time replacement is identified. With over a decade of experience as the Associate Director of Athletics, Capell has plenty of experience to take up the role.
A diverse committee of 12 individuals with close ties to the athletics program at CC has been created to find the next director. The committee, headed by President Jill Tiefenthaler, contains several professors, one of whom is Vice Provost Pedro de Araujo. Several trustees are also on the committee, including the current president of the Denver Broncos and CC alumnus, Joe Ellis. The student body of CC is well represented by three students: Miguel Mendez ’19, men’s basketball player CooXooEii Black ’20, and women’s soccer player Rachael Martino ’19.
Martino, a head member of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee, praised the job that Ralph carried out during his time at CC but emphasized a need to move forward. “Ken did a great job of laying the groundwork here, and especially helped with involving the Colorado Springs community more in our athletics” she said. “But I think we can take what he did and build off of it.”
The new director will need to shift their focus to other areas where the committee believes that progress is necessary. “We want someone who is going to work to incorporate the campus and all the athletic teams,” Martino said. “We are aiming to create more of a community at games and to have the campus support athletics more, as there’s a bit of a disconnect there right now.” The committee is focusing on making CC athletics more accessible to the student population, so it is important that the new athletic director has this goal in mind as well.
But that’s not all that the committee is looking to focus on through this hiring. “There has been a big push to get a new grass field,” Martino said. “The current field is really bumpy, and especially recently ACL tears have been happening often on the grass.” Each of the past four years, a player on the women’s soccer team has suffered an ACL tear. Teams are generally unhappy with the field’s condition, and making improvements to the field is a big goal for the committee, one that will likely be kept in mind when looking at candidates.
To help facilitate the search, the committee has enlisted the help of Denver-based search firm Odgers Berndston. The firm has met with various groups on campus including the Student Athletic Advisory Committee, varsity team coaches, college faculty, and students on campus to get a sense of what qualities to look for in potential candidates. “They’ve really tried to get a personality or idea of who we want for this role,” Martino said. “And a benefit of going through a search firm is they can reach out to people currently in a job who they think will fit this role really well.”
Although the process is well underway, President Tiefenthaler sent out an email to all students with a survey to give feedback about what they want to see in a new director. “They can take the survey or come to talk to me and I can bring it up in meetings,” Martino said. “Even if they have no relationship to athletics but want to be involved, we would like to hear what they have to say.”
The committee will continue to search for a new head of athletics, and they hope to have candidates ready to interview by January.