FB: New Palestine names Kyle Ralph football coach
January 16, 2013By Andrew Smith of New Palestine High School
(photos by Lauren Zych / New Palestine Crimson Messenger)
New Palestine High School is proud to announce Kyle Ralph as its next varsity football coach.
Pending approval at the next New Palestine school board meeting, Ralph will become the fifth head coach in New Palestine’s 45-year football history, continuing a tradition that began with Indiana Football Hall of Fame member Marvin Shepler. He succeeds Charlie Hill, who led the Dragons as an interim coach in the 2012 season.
Ralph brings an attitude of “winning the day” that starts each day in practice, and continues both on and off the field with the ideals of promoting commitment, character and a positive attitude – mirroring the NPHS athletic department motto of “Commitment, Character, Class.”
“I couldn't be more honored and excited to build upon New Pal's tradition of excellence on and off the field,” Ralph said.
"We're very excited to have Kyle with us as a teacher and coach,” NPHS principal Keith Fessler said. “His integrity, energy and enthusiasm will impact our young people both on the field and in the classroom. He comes highly recommended and we welcome to the New Palestine family.”
Ralph comes to New Palestine with a strong playing and coaching background. He starred at Ohio powerhouse St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati, then played four years at the University of North Carolina under head coach John Bunting, graduating in 2006. Ralph was a two-time First-Team All-ACC performer, and was named the ACC’s Coastal Division Offensive Lineman of the Year in 2005. Ralph has also brief NFL experience with the Seattle Seahawks and Carolina Panthers.
As a coach, he has worked at St. Xavier, was the head offensive line coach and co-offensive coordinator at Oak Hills High School in suburban Cincinnati, then has spent the last two seasons at Withrow University High School in Cincinnati, where he was the offensive line coach and offensive coordinator.
His 2012 Withrow team averaged 34.4 points per game and 335 total yards per game. Withrow went 11-1 in conference play and 14-6 overall in his two-year tenure there. His 2010 team at Oak Hills – a large suburban school near Cincinnati – broke or tied five different school rushing records. He was chosen as a coach in the Southwest Ohio Football Coaches Association All-Star Game that season. He was the head coach in waiting at Withrow, and took on many such responsibilities during his two-year tenure.
"Each one has been a different sitaution than the other," Ralph said. "That has helped me be a lot more well-rounded, in that I've dealt with a lot of different kids in each one of those scenarios. The other thing is, you borrow a lot of things from other coaches, and I've been fortunate enough to work with a lot of great coaches. I've been fortunate enough to be around great coaches and great people. I've been able to take some of those head coaching responsibilities on as I've worked with some of those people. I think I'm pretty well-prepared for what this is going to bring."
In six seasons as a football coach, eight of his athletes have gone on to receive college scholarships. Ralph also has extensive experience coaching track and field.
“Kyle is a committed, high character, first class person who will lead our football program in the right direction,” NPHS athletic director Allen Cooper said. “His football background is one of excellence at St. Xavier High School, and University of North Carolina as a player, and as an offensive coordinator with two impressive stops at Oak Hills and Withrow High School in Ohio. He will be a great addition to NPHS educationally and athletically.”
Pending board approval, Ralph will teach social studies at NPHS beginning in the 2013-14 school year.
He spent much of a 40-minute address to the team Wednesday morning speaking of character, making the right choices on and off the field and building trust -- not just in creating a better football team, but in developing young people.
"What you want out there playing for you are good character young men that you can trust on the field, that when you look out there, you know they're going to do the right things," Ralph said. "That's really important."
Offensively, Ralph plans to run a shotgun-based spread offense that relies heavily on the power running game. He will likely employ a three-man front defense.
Ralph will also retain much of the current coaching staff, including 2012 interim head coach/defensive coordinator Charlie Hill and offensive coordinator Jeremy Large.
Ralph hails from Cincinnati, but he has a New Palestine connection. His wife, Ashley, is a New Palestine High School graduate.
New Palestine High School has won six football sectional championships, two regional titles and was the 1990 Class 3A state runner-up. It has also won five Hoosier Heritage Conference championships -- most recently in 2011 -- and holds the HHC record for most consecutive conference games won. NPHS is a founding member of the Hoosier Heritage Conference, to which it has belonged since the 1994 football season. Annually recognized as of the top high schools in Central Indiana, NPHS was named a National Blue Ribbon School in 2012.
"If we kicked off tomorrow, I'd be ready to go," Ralph said. "That's how excited I am. That's how ready I am."
About Kyle Ralph