UVA Wise Mourns Passing Of College’s First Football Coach

On Thursday, February 18, The University of Virginia’s College at Wise sadly lost one of its own. Former head football coach Bill Ramseyer passed away surrounded by friends, family, and his wife, Mary.

Ramseyer’s passing leaves UVA-Wise devastated at such a tragic loss. According to faculty and staff with whom he had a close, personal relationship with, Coach Ramseyer was truly an amazing addition to UVA-Wise, both in athletics and as a colleague. His football coaching career paved the way for future coaches and athletes and his time here, both as Clinch Valley College and UVA-Wise, helped jumpstart the football program in Southwest Virginia.

Ramseyer was the first head football coach for Clinch Valley College, starting the program in 1991, and was the saw the first year of coaching at UVA-Wise. He retired in 2001 from coaching after 28 years of dedication poured into his passion. He left the college with 280 wins under his belt.

Ramseyer was adored and valued by all who knew him, students, faculty, and staff included. Not only was he dedicated to his coaching career, he poured himself into his colleagues and players. According to Christopher David, Director of the David J. Prior Convocation Center, “Coach was as genuine as they come. He loved CVC, now UVa-Wise, the people, the community, Southwest Virginia,” Davis said. “When books are written about good people, Coach Bill Ramseyer will be at the top of the list.”

Through multiple interviews with those who knew him personally, through coaching or campus life, this seemed to be the general consensus regarding Coach Ramseyer’s impact on UVA-Wise.

Hank Banner, head baseball coach, worked with Ramseyer for years, Banner said he believed Ramseyer “had a great influence on the players who played for him, far past their playing days.” Professor Michael O’Donnell had similar words in regards to Ramseyer’s passing.

“[Ramseyer] nurtured the growth of the sport and the students involved”.

Although he has been retired for twenty years and is no longer active as a coach at the college, his legacy and influence lives on and still impacts student athletes to this day. His influence will not be forgotten and his actions continue to encourage and aid the athletics department at the college.


Editor’s note:

Coach Ramseyer will be truly missed and our thoughts are with his family and friends.

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