Ben Raphelson was named Caltech’s head coach of the cross country and track and field programs in September of 2014.
Under Raphelson's tutelage, both squads have experienced success on multiple fronts in his first two years, including a slew of Top-10 performances across each sport and gender. The 2015 men's cross country team earned its first-ever regional ranking while Aditya Bhagavathi became the first individual in program history to qualify for consecutive NCAA Championships. The following track & field season, Raphelson's coaching put Morgan Hill in position to break an 81-year-old program record in the hammer throw, an event in which he would reach the podium at the SCIAC Championships. The previous year, both cross country program records fell on the same day at the SCIAC Multi-Duals, while the men's team also recorded its fastest combined average time in a competition. The success carried over to the track & field season, where the Beavers picked up their first conference dual meet win since 2011 and junior Aditya Bhagavathi was crowned individual SCIAC champion in the 5k, having also qualified for NCAAs in cross country. Between the four programs, Raphelson's charges racked up a whopping 18 Top 10 times in program history.
Raphelson joined the Beavers following a second coaching stint at his alma mater, Grinnell College, where he returned in 2013 to assist with the men's and women's cross country and track and field teams. At Grinnell, his athletes earned 12 individual/relay conference championships, including a 1-2-3 sweep in the 10k and 5k at the outdoor conference championships. One of his charges earned third- and fourth-place finishes at the NCAA Championships in the mile and 1500m, respectively. Raphelson previously assisted the Pioneers track programs in 2008 and 2009 after his graduation. He then served as a graduate assistant for the women's cross country and track & field programs at Smith College for two years while earning his master's degree in exercises and sports studies. He was named interim co-head cross country coach in his second year while the head coach took maternity leave.
Raphelson also served as an assistant cross country coach at another DIII power in Williams College, later leading both the men's and women's distance/middle-distance programs while the head distance coach was on sabbatical. He steered the women's cross country team to third place at the NCAA Championships, led by the individual national champion. His men's teams earned NESCAC and NCAA Regional championships and placed sixth at the NCAA Championships. During the track season, Raphelson guided dozens of athletes to all-conference and all-regional honors and coached athletes to four NCAA Championship appearances. Raphelson spent the 2012-13 academic year as the head cross country coach at Huntingdon College in Alabama.
A 2008 Grinnell graduate with a bachelor's degree in history, Raphelson holds USA Track and Field Level I and Level II (endurance) certifications and recently earned both his USTFCCCA Throws and Sprint, Hurdle and Relay Event Specialist certifications. He is also NSCA CSCS certified as a strength and conditioning coach.