Athletic Director and Head Men’s Basketball Coach Ryan Kane named next Athletic Director at Carthage College

Ryan Kane, athletic director and head men’s basketball coach at Ripon College, has been named the next athletic director at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He will coach the remainder of the basketball season and continue to serve as athletic director at Ripon before assuming his new role at Carthage April 1.

Ripon College named Kane head men’s basketball coach in 2012 and added athletic director to his responsibilities in 2019. As only the third men’s basketball coach in 50 years, Kane has both stewarded and enhanced the legacy of excellence associated with men’s basketball and Ripon College athletics at large.

“Ryan has been a vital member of the campus community for more than 10 years, and his contributions as a coach, administrator and community leader are significant,” says Victoria N. Folse, president of Ripon College. “We are grateful for all he has done to improve our student-athlete experiences inside and outside of the classroom.”

In his 10 seasons as head coach, Kane has led Ripon to a 158-84 overall record, which includes an 118-50 record in conference games, placing him eighth all-time in conference career coaching wins. The Red Hawks have appeared in the four-team MWC Tournament eight times during Kane’s tenure, winning the MWC Tournament in 2017 and 2020 and advancing to the NCAA Tournament in both years. During the 2021-22 season, Kane led Ripon to its first MWC regular season championship in 23 years, earning hosting rights for the MWC Tournament for the first time since 1999.

Kane has coached five MWC Players of the Year, a Central Region Rookie of the Year, three All-Americans and 13 All-Conference selections. Kane’s teams have set single-season school records for points, 3-pointers made, and free-throw percentage.

Kane’s commitment to excellence extended beyond the basketball court when he took over as athletic director in 2019. While the early part of Kane’s tenure as athletic director was marked by the pandemic, requiring him to navigate truncated seasons, the last two years were arguably the most successful in Ripon College’s athletic history. Under Kane’s leadership, teams have clinched eight conference championships with nine coaches being named Midwest Conference Coach of the Year. During his tenure, seven students have received the Midwest Conference Elite 20 Award, given to the student-athlete with the highest GPA who competes in their respective sport’s postseason tournament. Last year (2021-2022), 195 Academic All-Conference selections were named, the most in school history. Finally, Kane was instrumental in the planning of the new on-campus stadium slated to open in the fall of 2023.

Kane is a 1999 graduate of St. Norbert College, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in communications with a minor in leadership studies. Kane went on to receive his master’s degree in sports administration from Valparaiso University in 2007.

“I am eternally grateful to Julie Johnson for providing me with the opportunity to lead the men’s basketball program,” Kane says. “The program, built by Bob Gillespie and (Kermit) ‘Doc’ Weiske, was rooted in such a proud tradition and success. I was honored to take over. I was greeted with so much support and assistance from alumni, faculty and staff and assistant coaches which made the work easier and more enjoyable. Years later, upon Julie’s passing, I felt a tremendous sense of pride in leading the athletic department, continuing her legacy of leadership and success.

“Ripon College and the Ripon community have been so welcoming to our family. We have developed lifelong friendships. The people in this community make Ripon a truly special place. We will miss them,” reflects Kane. “Before we go, I would like to thank the athletic department staff for all their hard work and long hours. With their support and guidance, the next athletic director will be surrounded by the right people to ensure the continued success of Red Hawk Athletics.”

Folse adds, “While Ryan was well-equipped to embrace both the athletic director and head men’s basketball coach positions, we plan to decouple the roles to attract the most diverse and promising applicant pool as possible. We look forward to posting both positions in the coming days.”

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