University of Maine Director of Athletics Ken Ralph will leave Orono to become the athletic director at Southwestern University, an NCAA Division III school in Georgetown, Texas.
Ralph’s final day at UMaine will be Aug. 31, one day shy of his fourth anniversary at the school, the university announced Monday morning.
UMaine will name an interim director of athletics, and a nationwide search for Ralph’s replacement will be launched soon, according to a news release from the university.
“It has been my honor to represent our students, faculty, staff and alumni in this role for the past four years,” said Ralph in a statement provided by the school.
“We have won championships, managed through a pandemic, and initiated an ambitious athletics facility master plan. We are fortunate to have a staff of outstanding professionals who will keep the momentum going. The Athletic Department at UMaine is on very strong footing.”
Before coming to UMaine, Ralph served for 11 years as director of athletics at Colorado College. He also was the director of athletics at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute from 2002-07.
The University of Maine has nearly 11,500 students and is the state’s only NCAA Division I school, offering 15 varsity sports. Southwestern University is a private school with about 1,500 undergrads. It offers 20 varsity sports, including football.
UMaine is in the early stages of a long term plan to upgrade athletic facilities on the campus, spearheaded by a $90 million gift from the Harold Alfond Foundation. As of last spring, an additional $3 million had been raised for the project, which includes new stadiums for the women’s soccer, field hockey, and softball teams, as well as upgrades to Alfond Arena and a new on-campus arena that will be the home of the men’s and women’s basketball programs.
This story will be updated.