R-MC AD Kanach Announces Retirement
Yellow Jackets AD Steps Down After Six Years in Ashland
ASHLAND, Va. --- After six years at the helm of
the Randolph-Macon College Athletics program and over 40 years in
athletics, R-MC Director Athletics Denis Kanach has announced his
retirement effective at the close of the 2009-10 academic year.
Since arriving in Ashland, Kanach has overseen nine ODAC team championships in six different sports as well as R-MC's appearance in the NCAA Women's Basketball Championship game in 2005 and the men's basketball team's march to the Final Four this past season.
"My goal in retirement is to spend more time with family and doing things that I have not been able to all these years because of commitments to my career," said Kanach. "I have no immediate plans to move or take on any projects, either related or unrelated to athletics."
"I have very much enjoyed finishing my career at the College. I have been able to assemble a strong coaching staff that is committed to teaching their charges lessons that they can take with them away from the competitive arena into their futures."
Six head coaches have been honored as the ODAC coach of the year. Individually, over 400 students have been recognized with National and ODAC Awards for their athletic and academic successes.
In Kanach's first year at the helm of the Yellow Jackets, the women's basketball team won the first of four ODAC titles under his watch in 2004-05 and advanced to the NCAA Championship game. R-MC returned to the Elite Eight in 2006, and captain, Megan Silva, was named the Honda Division III Female Athlete of the Year, Jostens Trophy Winner, and First-Team All-American that season. The Yellow Jackets advanced to the Sweet 16 in 2007.
This season, R-MC's Molly Ariail joined Silva and 2009 graduate Amanda Hiltunen as one of three Jostens Trophy finalists during Kanach's tenure. Ariail was also named the Division III National Women's Basketball Player, an All-American for the second straight year and won her third consecutive ODAC Player of the Year award.
The baseball, football, golf, swimming, women's basketball, and volleyball teams have captured ODAC championships during Kanach's time at R-MC.
In addition to Silva, Erin Ewalt, and Travis Beazley garnered All-American honors as well. Ewalt qualified for the NCAA Women's Swimming National Championships in 2006. Beazley was named South Region Pitcher of the Year and became the first Yellow Jacket to be drafted by a Major League Baseball team. Beazley signed with the Boston Red Sox organization in June 2006.
During his tenure in Ashland, R-MC has boasted over 300 Academic All-ODAC selections as well as five ODAC Scholar of the Year awards.
"Denis Kanach leaves behind a legacy of excellence in Yellow Jacket athletics," said Randolph-Macon President Robert R. Lindgren. "He has recruited and developed an outstanding coaching staff and encouraged a culture where student-athletes succeed in the classroom, on the fields and courts, and most importantly, later in life."
At Randolph-Macon, Kanach led an athletic program that includes 15 men's and women's varsity teams which involve approximately one third of the college's student body. R-MC has built a legacy of success including the recent national achievements of the women's and men's basketball program achievements.
"I have endeavored to build a strong relationship with the faculty as we've worked together to blend and integrate the athletic experience into the educational mission of the college. The faculty at R-MC are a teaching faculty and the coaches are a teaching staff. Athletics and academics are a wonderful fit here in Ashland."
Kanach was named Director of Athletics at Randolph-Macon College in March of 2004. Prior to arriving in Ashland, he had enjoyed an impressive 35-year career, most recently as the Senior Associate Director and Chief Operating Officer of Athletics at Georgetown University. During his time at Georgetown, he also served as a track and field coach, recreation director, sports administrator, construction manager, fundraiser, and ambassador to the community.
Kanach guided the transition of Georgetown's football program from Division III to I and was responsible for men's basketball home game management and administration. He also served as a Track and Field coach. The Hoyas garnered All-American awards and even set world records under the direction of Kanach. He was also responsible for the administration of various teams and led the upgrade of both the men's and women's lacrosse programs to the national level. Both squads qualified for the NCAA Championships and Final Four during his tenure. He also supported the field hockey and men's golf programs, both of which advanced to their respective NCAA Tournaments and earned Top 20 national rankings.
The College will begin shortly a process to name a replacement for Kanach following his June 30 departure.
This release is courtesy of the Randolph-Macon College sports information department.