Growing up in Joliet, Illinois, Ken attended Joliet High School and participated in light weight football. He entered Joliet Junior College in 1935 and earned letters in basketball, baseball and golf.
He transferred to Lake Forest in 1937 and went on to earn six varsity letters, two each in football, basketball and baseball. Captain of the basketball team his senior year, Ken received All-Conference honors in all three sports. A business administration major, he was also a member of Phi Pi Epsilon and the Lettermen's Club.
Following graduation he returned to the College and coached freshman football and basketball under the tutelage of Ralph Jones. In 1941 he entered the U.S. Army Air Corps. Honorably discharged after World War II, he returned to Lake Forest College as head basketball coach and assistant coach for football and baseball.
In 1949 he moved to Texas where he taught and coached for the next thirty years. He moved into administration as a principal and superintendent, retiring in 1979 with his wife Charlotte McGrew '44. He also served on the Fort Stockton, Texas Chamber of Commerce and Recreation Department.