2017-18 NCAC Branch Rickey Mentor Class

2017-18 NCAC Branch Rickey Mentor Class

The North Coast Athletic Conference is proud to announce the Branch Rickey Mentor Program class for the 2017-18 academic year.

The Branch Rickey Mentor Program, entering it's sixth year, is a professional shadowing experience that matches veteran NCAC athletic administrators and coaches with junior and senior female and racial/ethnic minority students who aspire to a career in college athletics.

This experience provides students an understanding of the administrative skills and responsibilities required of coaches, athletic administrators and athletic communications professionals. The relationships with their mentors offer the opportunity for the students to learn from someone with varied experiences, to gain new perspectives, to explore new ideas, and to develop the focus and direction to help them achieve their career goals.

The Mentor Program allows our coaches, administrators and Sports Information Directors the opportunity to guide the next generation of athletics professionals. But this is a two-way learning exchange; Our mentors also benefit from the expererience by the having the chance to broaden their perspective on work-life issues, enhance their communication and relationship skills and we hope, feel satisfaction from helping someone to develop their professional goals.

The mentors pairs will will conclude the year-long program in May of 2018.

NCAC Branch Rickey Mentor Program - Class of 2017-18
School Mentee Mentor
Denison Taylor Abrahamowicz Larry Scheiderer, Director of Athletic Operations and Compliance
Earlham Maite Turlings Erica Lamm, Associate AD, Senior Woman Administrator
Hiram Grace Wilson Jim Johnston, Assistant Director of Athletics, Head Athletic Trainer
Hiram Joseph Howard Michael Cracas, Head Women's Soccer Coach
Kenyon Julian Morgan Kelly Bryan, Asst. AD, Head Women's Soccer Coach
Oberlin Lilah Drafts-Johnson Erica Rau, Senior Woman Administrator, Head Volleyball Coach
Ohio Wesleyan Alexis Roberts Doug Zipp, Director of Athletics
Ohio Wesleyan Nicole Rozsa Tom Watts, Head Football Coach
Wabash Sam Colaiacova Greg Shaheen, Director of Athletics
Wittenberg Ramon Delgado Kuris Duggan, Sports Information Director
Wittenberg Jane Hopkinson-Wood Kelley Hubbell, Head Field Hockey Coach
Wittenberg Rebecca Ziska Gary Williams, Director of Atheltics; Patrick Rittenhouse, Asst. to the AD
Wooster Anna Blake Kevin Smith, Director of Athletic Communications
Wooster Maddy Ireton Andy Zidron, Head Men's Soccer Coach


The NCAC proudly honors the leadership of Branch Rickey, whose connections to the Conference run deep. He earned a BA degree at Ohio Wesleyan in 1904 following a distinguished academic and playing/coaching career. His first job following graduation from OWU was at Allegheny, where he was the football and baseball coach and athletic director. Following his stint at Allegheny he coached the University of Michigan baseball team, while earning a law degree at the school.

Rickey then entered professional baseball in 1905, serving as a player, general manager and president of the St. Louis Cardinals (the Gas House Gang), president of the Brooklyn Dodgers and finally, president of the Pittsburgh Pirates, ending in 1955. He is a 1967 inductee of the Pro Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY and is widely recognized as one of the most important baseball executives in the sport's history as he invented the modern farm system, he pioneered the utilization of baseball statistics and most famously in 1945, he became the first executive to break baseball's color line when he signed Jackie Robinson, who became the major leagues' first African-American player in the 20th century. Rickey died in 1965 at age 83, following 50 years in major league baseball as a player and administrator.