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Former Bellarmine athletes and what they are doing now  

Story by Haley Stoklosa 

Being a student athlete in college is a whole different experience from being merely a student. Athletes who are also students must learn how to balance both school and their sport. This allows them to be prepared for life after college by teaching them time management, how to work well with others and how to work hard.  

So, what are some of these former Bellarmine athletes doing now that they do not play their sport?  

Beth Ratliff is the director of game operations and ticketing in the athletics department at Bellarmine. She graduated in 2018, and she played women’s basketball all four years at BU.

Ratliff said the people she met at Bellarmine helped her grow as a professional and excel in her career.  

“I'm back here now, so obviously the people here helped me go away and do awesome things and then come back and continue to grow in my profession,” Ratliff said.  

When Ratliff is not working at BU, she is working on DIY projects.  

“I'm a big DIY person. I'll try to paint things, but my issue is I think I can create anything I see online,” Ratliff said. 

Ratliff and President Donovan sit together in Freedom Hall. Photo courtesy of Ratliff. 

Softball player Olivia Knies graduated in 2021 with a nursing degree and said she learned to work hard and manage her time while balancing nursing school and softball.  

Knies said she is happy she played a sport at Bellarmine because of the relationships she developed by being on a team. She is still close with many of her former teammates.  

“It forced me to branch out and meet new people. I didn’t know anybody before coming onto the team so that was awesome meeting 20-plus new girls and making those relationships,” Knies said.  

Knies works at the Norton Healthcare Hospital on the Neuroscience Intensive Care Unit floor. Outside of work she has many hobbies, including pickleball, tennis, hanging out with friends and spending time with her sister, Claire Knies, who plays basketball at Bellarmine. She is also a dog mom to Sammi. 

 Knies and Sammi enjoy their day at the lake. Photo courtesy of Knies.  

Presley Brown graduated in 2022 and played women’s basketball. She graduated with a communication degree and works at Advantage Concepts, a Louisville marketing firm. 

 Brown said playing a sport at Bellarmine taught her life lessons. 

“It's taught me as a person that I can get through anything that I put my mind to... I still tell myself today that if I can get through four years of college basketball, I can get through anything,” Brown said. 

Outside of work, Brown is in her second year of coaching the freshmen and JV girls' basketball teams at Sacred Heart Academy.  

“I didn’t think I’d ever get back into any kind of basketball, whether it be coaching or playing, so I wasn’t sure when I got the offer, but I'm so glad I did. The girls made me fall back in love with the game again,” Brown said.  

Brown coaches her players at Sacred Heart Academy. Photo courtesy of Brown.


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