Women's Track and Field Coaching Staff
Ken Ciolek
PHONE: (419) 783-2385
Ken Ciolek
Head Coach

Ken Ciolek will be in his first season as head coach of the Yellow Jackets men’s and women’s track and field/cross country programs in 2015-16.

Ciolek is joining the Defiance Athletics coaching staff from Bethany (Kan.) College (NAIA), where he was head coach for the past year-and-a-half (2014-2015).  Under his guidance, Ciolek helped grow the program and led his team to the highest finish in over 10 years at both the indoor and outdoor NAIA National Championships two years in a row. Ciolek’s teams saw a significant amount of success as his teams produced six All-Americans, 15 conference champions, 18 national qualifiers and 30 All-Conference selections.  He also helped guide one athlete to the top overall mark in the men’s javelin in the NAIA as well as qualify for the Junior Nationals and capture the 2014 Drake Relay Collegiate Champion in the same event in 2014.  Ciolek’s teams left their marks in the record books with a total of 10 school records and five conference meet records.

In addition to his team’s having success on the track, his teams also excelled in the classroom as both of achieved the highest GPA in over 10 years. He had 20 Academic All-KCAC Team members, two Capital One Academic All-District team members and three Daktronics NAIA Academic All-Scholar Athletes.

Prior to Bethany, Ciolek was as assistant track and field coach at the University of Central Arkansas (Division I) for two years (2012-14) where he coached the jumps, javelin, hurdles and combined events. During his tenure, Ciolek’s team set 13 school records, including individuals who broke school records on 25 different occasions.  His team’s also set five facility/meet records.  He helped guide the women’s team to its highest conference finish in school history (third) while producing one conference champion and five All-Conference performers.  In the classroom, Ciolek guided 21 SLC All-Academic team members.  In addition, Ciolek produced a Track & Field/XC Coaching Literature Review for Championship Productions.

In addition to his prior stops at Bethany (Kan.) and Central Arkansas, Ciolek also coached at the Division III level at Marietta College and SUNY-Brockport.  Ciolek was a member of the Pioneer coaching staff for three years (2009-12) and served as an assistant track & field/cross country coach.  His teams earned multiple conference and national awards including eight All-Americans, 11 conference individual championships, 53 All-Ohio Athletic Conference Award winners and 27 national qualifiers.  His student-athletes went on to set 22 school records, including breaking records on 57 different occasions and helped mentor pentathlete to fifth highest score in Division III Championship history.  Beyond college competition, Ciolek fostered a Junior National qualifier in women’s javelin.  Ciolek was also recognized for his efforts as a coach as a member of the 2010 OAC Coaching Staff of the Year, and was named the 2010 Great Lakes Region Assistant Coach of the Year.  In cross country, he mentored one cross country national qualifier along with a male and female All-Region runner.  Off the track, his teams earned six Academic All-OAC Awards and 11 Academic All-Scholar athletes.

Ciolek began his collegiate coaching career at his alma mater, SUNY-Brockport where he coached the jumps, javelin and multi-event groups.  He helped lead the women Golden Eagles to the 2009 outdoor conference championship as well as coaching the individual women’s conference champion in the hurdles.  He had four athletes named Indoor and Outdoor Team MVP’s as well as two Atlantic Region Field Athletes of the Year.  Highlighting his two-year stay at Brockport was coaching the Division III National Champion in the women’s triple jump and having nine national qualifiers.  In addition, three of his athletes went on to garner All-American status and Academic All-Scholar honors.   

Ciolek earned his degree from SUNY-Brockport in psychology in 2007.  As a student, he was also an accomplished athlete as a member of the track & field team.  He was a three-time national qualifier in the javelin and two-time national qualifier in the decathlon.  He earned All-American honors in the javelin finishing as runner-up in the event.  Ciolek was tabbed first-team All-Conference on eight occasions and was a 10-time first-team NYSCTC award winner as well as the NYSCTC “Rookie of the Year” in 2004.  He is the current school record holder in the javelin at Brockport.  Following graduation, Ciolek continued to compete in the javelin for three years and just missed qualifying for the Olympic Trials by 30 centimeters.

In addition to coaching at Brockport, Ciolek was also doing private coaching during the two year time span for all ages on an individual level. He helped mentor elite development athletes gain exposure at regional and national championships, as well as the Junior Olympics and World Youth Championships. Ciolek helped foster the Marietta High School women’s pole vault record holder, as well as state meet medalist, who was also an outdoor national qualifier. He helped guide 15 conference champions, 11 school record holders, four state champions in the high jump, 16 high school national qualifiers, one Indoor National Champion in women’s high jump, two high-school All-Americans, and eight Junior Olympic Qualifiers and Junior National Qualifiers.

Ciolek is certified in many different organizations. He has the USATF Level I Certified, USATF Level II Certified, emphasis on jumps, sprints, hurdles, and relays, USATF Level III Certified, emphasis on jumps, USATF Level I Certified Instructor, USATF Member 2001-Present, USATF Official 2002-Present, a USATF Coaches Registry Member 2009-Present, a Pole Vault Safety Certification board 2010-Present, and IAAF Level V Certified Coach, emphasis on jumps.

Women's Track and Field Coaching Staff
Ken Ciolek
Head Coach
Adam Trausch
Assistant Coach
Maria Theisen
Assistant Coach for Distance
Brian Thill
Assistant Coach for Jumps, Hurdles and Multi-Events
Tom Postema
Assistant Coach for Throws