Owens Community College will honor the legacy of former Express Director of Athletics Michael Rickard who passed away unexpectedly in December 2010 by hosting a tribute ceremony in his honor as part of a men’s and women’s basketball doubleheader against Edison State Community College on Wednesday, Feb. 16.
The tribute ceremony for Michael Rickard will begin at the conclusion of the Express women’s basketball game against Edison State at approximately 7 p.m. in the College’s Student Health and Activities Center on the Toledo-area Campus. Owens is located on Oregon Road in Perrysburg Township.
The Owens women’s basketball game will start at 5:30 p.m. followed by the Express men’s basketball contest against Edison State at 7:30 p.m. Admission to all home games is free.
“Michael Rickard will be warmly remembered for his dedication and passion to Owens Community College Express athletics,” said Chris Giordano, Owens Dean of Student Life. “His welcoming smile was part of his positive outlook on life and college athletics. Michael touched thousands of lives over his three decades at Owens Community College and we are proud and honored to recognize him through a lasting tribute ceremony in his name.”
The tribute ceremony will commence with welcoming remarks by Owens Dean of Student Life Chris Giordano followed by a moment of silence in Michael Rickard’s memory. “A Tribute to Michael Rickard” will continue with comments by Owens President Dr. Larry McDougle. Additionally, several special announcements will take place during the ceremony to the honor the legacy of Michael Rickard.
Also, Owens Express student-athletes, coaching staffs and alumni from all seven of the College’s intercollegiate athletic programs will be in attendance and recognized as part of the celebration. At the ceremony’s conclusion, a photo of all Express student-athletes and members of Michael Rickard’s family in attendance will be taken and presented to his family to commemorate the evening. A second photo will soon adorn a hallway within the Student Health and Activities Center.
Rickard worked in various athletic capacities for the College for more than 30 years, including full time since 1985 and as Athletic Director since July 2000. He was devoted to the Owens Express as he worked with coaches, student-athletes, parents, and faculty and staff through many seasons of wins and losses.
He was acknowledged by his peers for his leadership among community college athletic directors, as well as by opposing coaches and administrators who received respect and fair treatment when they visited the College. In addition, Owens student-athletes excelled in the classroom and on the athletic playing field as 88 student-athletes earned academic or athletic All-American honors from the NJCAA during his tenure.
A 1982 Owens graduate and a 1984 University of Toledo graduate with a bachelor’s degree in education and recreation/sports management, Rickard was named Athletic Director of the Year for 1995-96, 1999-2000, 2003-04 and 2009-10 by the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC). He has been associated with Express athletic teams since the 1979-80 season, serving as a scorekeeper, statistician and assistant coach at times. From 1999-2001, he served as the Commissioner of the OCCAC.
Rickard was named to the Executive Committee of the National Alliance of Two-Year College Athletics Administrators in 2010 and also was a member of the Owens Alumni Association Board of Directors. His accomplishments include being honored by the Rotary Club of Maumee with the prestigious Paul Harris Fellowship for his contributions in the Toledo community.
The Express women’s basketball program has amassed a 21-4 overall record and currently is in second place in the OCCAC standings. Led by Head Coach Michael Llanas, their conference record is 6-1. In this week’s NJCAA Division II poll, Owens Express women’s basketball is ranked No. 19 in the nation.
The 2010-11 edition of the men’s basketball program has an overall record of 8-16 and a 2-5 mark (seventh place) in the OCCAC. The Express is led by Head Coach Kevin Skaggs.
For more information about the tribute ceremony, contact the College’s Athletics Office at (567) 661-7973 or 1-800-GO-OWENS, Ext. 7973.