RVC kept Jim Ringness in the game and onto an unexpected career path

Posted on Nov 7, 2014


Jim Ringness is the General Manager for Shaw Media Kane County Operations where he oversees the Kane County Chronicle (both the daily newspaper and the website), Kane County Magazine and the weekly Tri-City Republican newspaper.  Jim started his college career at RVC and played basketball for the Trojans (RVC’s original nickname, we didn’t become the Golden Eagles until 1994) under RVC Athletic Hall of Fame inductee Chuck Behrends.

RVC pushed me to excel both academically and athletically which served me well after I received my associate’s degree.

Jim RingnessHometown

Crystal Lake, IL

Currently resides

South Elgin, IL

What years did you study at RVC?

1978 – 1980

Further education

I received my Bachelor of Science Degree in marketing from Illinois State University in 1982.

What is your favorite memory of Rock Valley College?

There were two reasons I decided to enroll at Rock Valley College.

First, I saw it as a better academic opportunity at the time when compared to my hometown junior college. Second, I was recruited to play basketball and was happy to be able to chase my athletic dream for another two years.

As a member of the basketball team for my two years at the “Valley,” most of my favorite memories revolve around our team and my teammates.

Because we spent so much time together, and several of us that came from McHenry County actually lived together in an old farmhouse on the outskirts of town, there was always something going on.

My freshman year we advanced to the Junior College basketball Regionals in Decatur. This was not exactly a great destination. However, it was my first athletic experience with multiple night stays in a hotel.

We had a crushing loss in the first round after leading by 20+ points, but our team stood by each other and still celebrated a great year of hard work. In the “small world” category, one of my original roommates, who had also come from McHenry County to play basketball, is now the Monsignor of my church (St. Patrick) in St. Charles, Illinois. This is just another way that the “Valley” has impacted my life.

Who was your favorite instructor or staff member during your time at RVC?

My favorite staff member had to be our head basketball coach Chuck Behrends. He was the long time coach of RVC Basketball. He had a reputation as a tough coach, but he was a great mentor and if you did all that he asked he was very loyal to you.

I came to RVC from a small Catholic high school in McHenry County (Marian Central High School in Woodstock). I played forward/center there. I had to move to the guard spot at RVC. He worked with me after every practice to improve my ball handling skills and quickness. I was now no longer the most talented player, like I was in high school, and to get playing time at RVC I had to work hard on the defensive side of the ball, which Coach Behrends expected.

I recall after one practice Coach Behrends recognizing me in front of the team on how they should pattern their defensive efforts like mine. He taught me a great deal about finding ways to use the skills you have and making the most of them to succeed.

What impact has RVC had on you?

I think RVC prepared me well for my early adult life. It provided the opportunity to meet an entirely new spectrum of people, in an area that I had not been all that familiar with. RVC pushed me to excel both academically and athletically which served me well after I received my associate’s degree. It set me on the right course to graduate from ISU and step into the real world.

What impact has RVC had on your career?

I went to RVC thinking that accounting would be my future. RVC’s business classes were thorough and complete. It allowed me to take a step back and figure out that accounting was not my calling and that business and/or marketing would be better fit, and after almost 30 years in the media business, I thank RVC for helping me to make that discovery.

What do you miss the most about RVC?

The obvious answer is that I miss being young and playing hoops still! The real answer is that I miss being part of a great team and working together towards fulfilling our goals and dreams.

Keep an eye on one area of Jim’s responsibility by checking out the Kane County Chronicle website.

Do you have an RVC alum you’d like to see featured on the blog?  E-mail us to tell us about it.

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