llinois State's golf program is as easy as 1, 2, 3: One head coach, two teams and three conference championships since 2004. Ray Kralis has single handedly kept traditions alive since he took over both the men's and women's teams.
Kralis, in his seventh season as the women's head coach and his third season with the men, believes the foundations have been set for both programs and has high expectations for this season. Besides two conference coach of the year awards, three Central Illinois Professional Golfers' Association Teacher of the Year awards, and producing 10 All-Missouri Valley Conference golfers, he was able to win both the men's and women's State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Championships in 2005 and the women's championship in 2004.
Kralis began at Illinois State as a student-athlete in 1986. Kralis earned individual honors as an All-Missouri Valley Conference selection in 1988 and led as a co-captain in 1989 and 1990. He was a member of the 1989 team which won the Missouri Valley Conference championship. He graduated in 1990, cum laude, with a degree in finance.
After graduation, Kralis worked as the assistant golf professional at Illinois State's University Golf Course while assisting the men's golf program for two years before leaving to complete his PGA apprenticeship as first assistant at Franklin Hills Country Club in Franklin Hills, Mich.
In 1993, Kralis returned to Bloomington-Normal as the Redbirds' assistant men's golf coach, while also working as a PGA teaching professional until taking over as the women's head coach in 2000. In 2005, Kralis took over the men's program from mentor and former coach, Harland Kilborn. He led the women's team to the conference championship in 2003 and both the women's and men's teams won titles in 2005.
As time permits, Kralis still enjoys teaching and playing golf. He has captured six CIPGA victories and been a Class A member of the PGA since 1993. Kralis and his wife Raquel, have three sons, Tyson, age 6, Braden, age 3, and Keaton, who was born on September 13, 2006.