Interviews with Ripon College Coaches


Ryan Kane image001Ryan Kane is Athletic Director and men’s basketball head coach at Ripon College. This blog addresses remarks made by Coach Kane regarding his leadership roles on and off the court. Questions for the interview were prepared by Elliott Holt, Esteban Borja Pena, Clark Cunningham, Jaylen Mahone, and Jacob Zuehlke, all members of the Ripon College Business Leadership course in the fall semester of 2021.

What drives you and keeps you motivated year after year?


Interview by: Abby Gilbertson, Jinjin Han, Lily Kopplin, Kara Vande Brink, Skyylar Brescia, & Zoe Hazel

Elaine image001

Front Row Kneeling L-R: Jack Christ, Lily Kopplin, Abby Gilbertson.

Back Row Standing L-R: Jinjin Han, Elaine Coll, Skylar Brescia, Zoe Hazel, Kara Vande Brink


Imagine being one of the first people to overcome the gender barrier in college athletics. Elaine Coll was the founder of the modern-day women’s intercollegiate athletic program at Ripon College. She began her career at Ripon in 1973, just a year after Title IX was put into effect, governing intercollegiate athletic programs for women.

When asked about her adolescence, Coach Coll described herself as a tomboy because she always wanted to be around sports:

I don’t know if anybody remembers tomboys and so I liked to hang around the little league field, you know and see if I could get anybody to show up and we could play ball or something. So I always liked sports. I wanted to be able to play, but there was no place to play.




Rick Coles is in his 23rd year as a faculty member and coach for Ripon College’s football program, where he currently serves as the team’s offensive line coach. He served as the team's offensive coordinator for 16 years from 2004-2019. He also serves as Ripon College’s Pieper Chair of Servant Leadership. Below is an interview with Coach Coles that addresses leadership behavior beyond the X’s and O’s. The interview was conducted and edited by Mickey Babjak, Erik Frafjord, Daniel Garcia, Reece Schreckengust, and Zach Gustafson, all members of the Ripon College Business Leadership course in the fall semester of 2021.

Please summarize your own personal story from adolescence to your career as a leader. How did you first decide that you could be an effective leader?