Kenneth Ravizza, noted sports psychologist and professor emeritus of kinesiology, died July 8 after suffering a heart attack on July 2. He was 70 years old.
The educator began teaching at Cal State Fullerton in 1977 and served for 40 years, both inside the classroom and on the athletic fields and in the gym.
He worked with several CSUF and other collegiate athletic teams, as well as professional teams that included the Angels and the Chicago Cubs, and the U.S. Olympic teams of field hockey, water polo and baseball. Throughout his academic and consulting career, Ravizza presented before international and national conferences, and wrote numerous journal articles and book chapters. He also co-authored the books “Heads-Up Baseball: Playing the Game One Pitch at a Time” and “Heads-Up Baseball 2.0.”
In a 2014 Orange County Register article, former CSUF gymnastics coach Lynn Rogers called Ravizza “one of Fullerton’s secret weapons,” in describing the sports psychologist’s work with the gymnastics team that won the 1979 national championships. Former baseball coach George Horton said in a 2004 ESPN article that hiring Ravizza was the “best money I ever spent.” The Titans, who began the season going 15-16, would go on to their fourth national championship.
The Ken Ravizza Scholarship in Sport and Performance Psychology was established in 2015 to honor the long-time educator. Donations to the scholarship may be made online via giving.fullerton.edu.
Ravizza is survived by his wife, Claire, daughters Monica and Nina, and brothers Richard and Joe.
More about his impact on campus sports can be found on the Titan Athletics website.