LINDSBORG — Ken Ciolek is the new head track and field coach at Bethany College, according to an announcement made today by school officials.
"We are tremendously excited that Ken will be joining the Swedes’ Department of Athletics," Dean of Athletics Dane Pavlovich said in a press release. "He brings a wealth of experience at many different levels and our student-athletes will benefit from his expertise. Coach Ciolek also is a great fit with our existing cross country and track and field staff — Aaron Yoder and Drew Frizzell."
Ciolek has served as the assistant track and field coach at the University of Central Arkansas since August 2012. During his time there, he was responsible for the recruitment of jumpers, combined event athletes, and javelin throwers for both the men's and women's programs.
Ciolek coached the jumps, javelin, hurdles and combined events, leading athletes who have broken school records on 25 different occasions and set five facility-meet records. He helped guide the women's team to a third-place conference finish, their highest conference finish in school history. He also helped produce five All-Conference performers, one conference champion and 21 SLC All-Academic team members.
"I am extremely honored and humbled to be joining a program rich in academic and athletic prowess," Ciolek said. "I look forward to continuing the success that the track and field teams have had over the years, and I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to lead such great men and women into new horizons."
Prior to his tenure at the University of Central Arkansas, Ciolek served as the assistant track and field/cross country coach and recruiting coordinator at Marietta College for three years. He worked with the jumps, javelin and multi-event groups. Ciolek coached athletes who broke school records on 57 different occasions, producing 11 conference champions, 53 All-Conference performers, 27 national qualifers and six Ohio Athletic Conference All-Academic team members. Ciolek was a member of the 2010 Ohio Athletic Conference coaching staff of the year, was named the 2010 Great Lakes Region Assistant Coach of the Year and was nominated for the 2010 USATF National Team Staff.
Ciolek also spent two years as the assistant track and field coach at SUNY College-Brockport. There, he was responsible for the jumps, javelin and multi-events groups, leading student-athletes to six school records. Ciolek had a hand in producing 11 conference champions, six Academic All-Americans, nine national qualifiers, three All-Americans and one national champion. He also coached the 2009 women's outdoor conference championship team and the 2009 women's conference champion in the hurdles.
As a student-athlete, Ciolek was a NCAA Division III All-American in the javelin, earning a second-place national finish. He was a three-time NCAA Division III national qualifier in the javelin, and a two-time national qualifier in the decathlon. Ciolek is an eight-time All-Conference selection, holding the State University of New York Athletic Conference record in the javelin. He also holds school record at SUNY College-Brockport in the javelin, and holds the school record at Buffalo State College in the javelin, decathlon, and heptathlon. Ciolek competed post-collegiately for three years, and missed the Olympic trials in the javelin by 30 centimeters.
He holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from SUNY College-Brockport. He is USATF Level I certified, is USATF Level II certified in jumps, sprints, hurdles, and relays and is USATF Level III certified in jumps.