— Paying a Monday morning visit to the variety store...
Kevin Ruple grew up in Ashtabula, went to high school as an Ashtabula Panther and has never forgotten his roots.
The 1978 Ashtabula graduate went off to the College of Wooster, from which he graduated in 1982, is now in his 27th year as sports information director at Baldwin-Wallace College.
“Rupe” will complete a terrific triumvirate of recognition in late June, when he will be presented the 2011 Lester Jordan Award at the annual College Sports Information Director’s of America Convention in Marco Island, Fla.
Previously, Rupe was awarded the CoSIDA’s Warren Berg Award, which was presented in Calgary, Ontario in 2003, and he was inducted into the CoSIDA Hall of Fame in 2008 in Tampa, Fla.
When he receives the Lester Jordan Award in June, Rupe will become only the second small-college SID in the history of CoSIDA top receive all three of the prestigious honors, the other being Dave Wrath of Augustana, Ill.
Rupe was a standout baseball player. But as a kid, I first ran across him while he was playing in a church basketball league. The games were played at SS. John and Paul’s Mahoney Gymnasium and at that point, he had a hair-trigger release on his shot... but also his temper.
He said two of his coaches at Ashtabula High School took care of that problem.
“Rick Fenton was my baseball coach when I was a freshman (at Ashtabula),” he said. “I had a big mouth. He finally told me if I opened my mouth one more time, I’d find myself on the bench and if I kept it up, I’d be on the bench for the year.”
Enter Dan Craft.
“(Craft) took over from him. He told me whatever Coach Fenton had said went for him, too.”
Rupe has always gone out of his way to help local student-athletes at B-W by putting them to work in his office.