Dean Thompson And Ben Rickett Get New Roles With Dalton State College Athletics

Wednesday, January 9, 2019
A small reorganization within the Dalton State Athletic Department has some familiar faces taking on new roles.

With Athletic Director Jon Jaudon assuming the duties as interim chief of staff for the college, Women's Cross Country/Track & Field Coach Dean Thompson will serve as acting athletic director, while Men's Golf Coach Ben Rickett will take on the business of fundraising.

"Our department is full of talented people, and I am grateful to Dean and Ben for agreeing to serve in these roles," Jaudon said.

As interim chief of staff, Jaudon will still oversee Athletics but will also oversee a number of other offices that are important to Dalton State such as: Advancement, Marketing & Communications, Institutional Research and Planning, and Government Relations and External Affairs.

Thompson will take on more of the day-to-day operations of the Athletic Department, while Rickett will help increase private philanthropy that will be used for scholarships and other Athletic Department projects.
Both will continue to coach their squads.

"It's a great opportunity to be a bigger part of what we are doing," Thompson said. "I want to do anything I can to help this department become what we want it to be. I'm really looking forward to learning more about what the other teams do and how those coaches run their teams."

Rickett echoed the same sentiment saying, "It's a very exciting opportunity I have been given and am grateful for. As an employee and ambassador for Dalton State, the part I love the most is selling the school and community, and this gives me another platform to do that from."

"Our constant need within our department is scholarship dollars. We have had success but for it to continue this has to be my priority on both a short and long-term basis. I am looking forward to the work ahead with my current role and my new role."

Thompson's cross country team is coming off a third place finish at the 2018 SSAC Championship with a team comprised of mostly freshmen and sophomores. He is in continuing to build the track & field program which is going into its third season. The team finished fourth at the SSAC Championship last April, despite running only the distance events and a few relays. A Georgia Tech graduate, Dean is the oldest runner to ever win the Myrtle Beach Marathon (47 years old). He is also the National Race Director for The Run for God.

Rickett has enjoyed success since coming from Chattanooga to start the golf program at Dalton State in 2012. His teams have been ranked in every poll eligible since November 2014, a band of 32 consecutive polls. Eighteen of those have been a top-10 ranking, with 15 coming in the top five. The 2017-18 Roadrunners finished the season as the national runner-up and a #2 final ranking. Ben and his wife Shelly reside in Dalton with their two sons. 

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