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Longtime Saint Ursula Academy Athletic Director Retires; School Honors Mike Sipes with Award

Longtime Saint Ursula Academy Athletic Director Retires; School Honors Mike Sipes with Award

– Saint Ursula Academy says farewell to longtime Athletic Director Mike Sipes this month as he heads into retirement after 19 years at SUA.

Sipes became Athletic Director at Saint Ursula Academy in August of 1999. Over the years, he has played a pivotal role in advancing the Saint Ursula athletic department to the esteemed level it is today. This includes leading several SUA teams to State Championships. He helped raise funds for a new state-of-the-art gym and a turf field. His foresight of building a gymnasium with D1 provisions allows Saint Ursula to host the University of Cincinnati women’s volleyball and basketball games this year. 

Mike Sipes was more than an Athletic Director; he has been a dedicated member of the Saint Ursula Academy community.  While he served the SUA family through athletics, he went out of his way to help in many school events. You could see him every year at The SUA Ball as an auction spotter or as a leader in the SUA Walk.  He was a faithful chaperone at the father-daughter dances; usually wearing a very festive costume!

“It has been such a pleasure to have Mike serve as AD in the time that I have been principal,” said Saint Ursula Academy Principal Craig Maliborski. “I often told Mike that I never worried about the athletic department because I knew his leadership and work ethic meant things were going to be done well.”

Sipes ran the athletic program with the best interest of the student athletes in mind. That also meant selecting the best coaches who were not just talented, but were committed to the mission of Saint Ursula Academy to educate young women of faith, integrity of courage.

Ann Gartner, Head Swim Team Coach, said “Since I became swim coach 14 years ago, Mike has always been our strongest supporter, advisor and promoter of success.  Mike's guidance and support have been paramount in the success of all the athletic programs at SUA, and he has established the core values of Saint Ursula as the ultimate goal to pursue for athletics.  As coaches, Mike instilled in us the desire to continue the mission of SUA throughout each sport's programs.”

“Mike has shown unending support for our SUA athletes and community,” said Saint Ursula Academy President Lelia Keefe Kramer. “He often came in early and stayed late to make sure all bases were covered for our events. He was a faithful cheerleader for our athletes. I thank him for his dedicated years of service and hope he enjoys his days in retirement. He will be missed,”

Respect the Game Award
To honor Mike Sipes and his years of service to Saint Ursula and for the amazing values, sportsmanship, ethics and integrity he showed through his work, the school recently awarded him with the "Respect the Game of Life Award."

Saint Ursula gives this award each year to a person who shows great love, dedication, and admiration for our school community through the many activities in which he/she coordinates and supports. He/she is not only an ambassador for the school but goes out of his way to encourage and support our athletes in many walks of life.

The recipient does not have to be an SUA athlete. He or she could be a student, coach, parent, an employee or even a person from outside our SUA community.

The criteria for a nomination for this award is as follows:
• The recipient demonstrates a high level of sportsmanship every day.
• They understand the importance of high school co-curricular activities as valuable and, as such, it is worthy of respect. 
• The person acts with courtesy, dignity and pride. 
• They demonstrate the importance of putting others ahead of themselves in an ongoing effort to practice the importance of teamwork. 
• The recipient’s attitude is able to sway others to follow them and their methods of demonstrating sportsmanship and positive behavior.

Congratulations to Mike Sipes.  Saint Ursula Academy thanks you for all you have done and we wish you all the best in your next adventure of retirement.

Saint Ursula Academy is a Catholic, college-preparatory, secondary school for young women known for academic excellence and rich tradition. Saint Ursula welcomes students from more than 90 grade schools in the Greater Cincinnati area.  The Academy is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a Blue Ribbon School. The campus, located at 1339 E. McMillan Street in East Walnut Hills has been the home of St. Ursula Academy and Convent since 1910. The Class of 2017 earned college scholarships totaling more than $21-million.