By Adam Samson/Sports Information Director
Stephens College President Dianne Lynch announced today that Ray Fron, head basketball and golf coach, will assume the role of interim Athletics Director, effective immediately.
Fron will replace longtime athletics director Deb Duren, who retired this month after more than 30 years of service at the college.
“My main goal is to maintain the integrity of the athletics program that Deb built during her tenure,” Fron said. “I look forward to continuing to grow and support the program. I want to thank President Lynch for her vote of confidence in my leadership of the program. Her support has been tremendous.”
As interim AD, Fron will oversee Stephens’ athletic program, which consists of eight sports that compete in the American Midwest Conference (AMC) of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).
Fron is a veteran coach with more than 25 years of experience, having spent much of his career at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Mich., before arriving at Stephens a year ago. He has directed a successful first year of recruiting, with seven high school basketball standouts set to enroll for the 2015-16 academic year. Total student-athlete enrollment next year will hover around 100.
“We’re thrilled to have Ray as part of our athletics program,” Lynch said. “He brings enthusiasm, experience and a dedication to excellence. He shares Stephens’ commitment to developing student athletes whose first priority is their academic achievement.”
Consistent with Stephens’ values and Ten Ideals, the development of scholars off the court is a cornerstone of Fron’s philosophy. This past school year, eight of the Stars’ 10 basketball student-athletes were named American Midwest Conference Academic All-Conference, while all four of his golfers earned that academic honor. Three of his athletes also were named Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athletes, the highest academic honor presented to an athlete by the NAIA.
The bulk of Fron’s coaching experience occurred at the collegiate level. In addition to his work at Aquinas, Fron served as head coach at Spring Hill College in Mobile, Ala. He also spent seven years coaching high school basketball in California and worked as an athletics director at the middle school level.
Fron brings enthusiasm, experience and a dedication to excellence to the Stars athletic program. Most important–as Duren once told him–he “gets it” when it comes to the college’s commitment to student athletes –with the emphasis on ‘student.’
A native of Michigan, Fron has a B.S. in Psychology and Special Education from Grand Valley State University and a Master in the Art of Teaching from Aquinas. Fron was a prep athlete at Catholic Central High School in Grand Rapids, where he lettered in cross country and track, while also playing basketball and baseball.
Founded in 1833, Stephens is the second-oldest women’s college in the U.S. For the past five years, Stephens has been certified by the NAIA as a Champions of Character Five-Star institution.
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