New roles planned for veteran leaders in Broncbuster Athletics

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Garden City (westernkansasnews.com)–Three veteran leaders in the Garden City Community College Athletic Department will take on new roles for the upcoming fall semester. Bob Larson, athletic director, will become coordinator of athletic activities, according to an announcement Tuesday by Dr. Herbert J. Swender, GCCC president. In addition, Jake Ripple will move from assistant athletic director and sports information director to the position of assistant athletic director for student success; and Greg Greathouse, director of the Health, Physical Education and Recreation Division, will assume responsibilities for the GCCC Aerobic Super Circuit. “We have access to outstanding talent and experience among these three gentlemen,” Swender said, “and I am confident that they will be able to provide continued athletic leadership which I believe reinforces our college’s commitment to student success.”

Larson has been with GCCC since the fall of 1994, serving first as an assistant football coach and later as head football coach. He worked as assistant athletic director before his appointment as athletic director in 2008. He has been inducted into the NJCAA Hall of Fame as a football coach and was named earlier this year to the inaugural class of the Pratt Community College Athletic Hall of Fame. He remains the all-time winningest coach in Broncbuster football history.

In his new role, Larson will coordinate all GCCC athletic activities, including games, tournaments and athletic camps, Swender said. Larson earned a bachelor of science at Colorado State University and a master of science at Western Illinois State University. “Bob has provided GCCC with an excellent tenure of service, underpinned with unparalleled advocacy on behalf of Broncbuster athletics and for this entire institution,” Swender said. “Brown and gold run in Bob’s blood and we are all appreciative of his commitment.”

Ripple joined GCCC as head coach for women’s basketball in 2006, and became assistant athletic director and sports information director in the spring of 2009. In addition, he has continued teaching in the GCCC Science and Mathematics Division. In his new assignment, Ripple will work directly with GCCC’s 300-plus student athletes, concentrating on advising, retention, tutoring and player eligibility. In addition, he will supervise student-athlete work-study positions. “This is a position that is all about success for students who participate in Broncbuster athletics,” Swender said. “Jake has always demonstrated a commitment to achievement in every endeavor, and in his new role we will be deploying a safety net for student success — one that I am confident will serve our student-athletes very well.” Ripple earned a bachelor of arts degree from Sterling College and a master of science from Fort Hays State University. 

Greathouse, a GCCC graduate, joined the college in 1991, serving as assistant and then head athletic trainer, and later as assistant athletic director, before accepting his current position in 2008. He has also remained involved in the college’s athletic training program. In addition to continuing his administrative duties in HPER, Greathouse will now take charge of the super circuit, which provides fitness opportunities to students and the community. The super circuit was previously led by Doyle McGraw, who retired in May. Greathouse earned a bachelor of science degree from Emporia State University and a master of science from Friends University, in addition to an associate in science from GCCC.

The changes will open a vacancy for the athletic director’s position, and Swender said GCCC would move as rapidly as practical to find the right candidates and fill the post. “We will be announcing the vacancy this week, and I hope to have someone on board by the fall semester,” the president explained. “The college will aggressively pursue a candidate with an understanding and passion to collectively grow the athletic programs serving GCCC.” While the goal is to complete each of the changes by the beginning of the fall term in August, Swender said that the three leaders would continue in their present positions during the transition period, until the selection process for the athletic director is complete.