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Ralph Nolan

 

  • Guided St. Benedict’s College (now Benedictine College) to two NAIA national basketball championships – in 1954 and 1967
  • Led the Benedictine Ravens to six appearances in the NAIA National Tournament
  • Inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame
Nolan, Ralph
Inducted 2004

Born: April 2, 1913

Died: January 5, 1995

Graduated: Bishop Ward Catholic H.S. (KC, KS) 1930; St. Benedict’s College (Atchison, KS), 1939

Overview

In the highly-intense game of basketball, Ralph Nolan stayed cool, calm and collected … and won a pair of national championships along the way.  Nolan guided St. Benedict’s College (now Benedictine College) to two NAIA national basketball championships – in 1954 and 1967 - and compiled a record of 312-174 from 1950-70. He is one of five coaches named to the All-Century NAIA team.

Career Highlights

Nolan coached at both Bishop Ward High School and St. Agnes (now Bishop Miege) before turning to college coaching at St. Benedict’s. Nolan led the Ravens to six appearances in the NAIA National Tournament in Kansas City – 1953, ’54, ’58, ’65, ’67 and ’70.  In the NAIA tourney, Nolan-coached teams compiled a sparkling 13-4 record. His 1954 team defeated Western Illinois in the title game. In 1967, led by All-American Darryl Jones, St. Benedict’s lived up to its No. 1 ranking by defeating Oklahoma Baptist, 71-65, in the finals. In addition to coaching basketball at St. Benedicts for 20 years, Nolan also coached football and golf and served as the Athletic Director.

Honors

He was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame in 1969 and the gymnasium at Benedictine College is named in his honor.