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February 26, 2021

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Bill Ramseyer coached football for 44 seasons

Bluffton native is in five athletic halls of fame

Click here to read a column "Remembering Bill Ramseyer."
Glen William “Bill” Ramseyer  of Bluffton, died on Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021, after suffering a cardiac event two days earlier.

Bill was born Nov. 29, 1936, in Columbus, Ohio, to Lloyd and Ferne Ramseyer. His older brother Bob (Alice Ruth) preceded him in death. His sister, Mary Jean Wells (Bob), survives him.

His family moved to Bluffton in 1937. In 1955, he married, Mary Alice Burry. They celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary this past year.

He is survived by children and their spouses, Jeri and Duane Earley (Wilmington, Ohio), Cindy Ropp (Bloomington, Illinois), and Randy and Jenny Ramseyer (Abingdon, Virginia).

Also surviving are grandchildren include Grace (Dustin) Eads, Sarah (Phil) Evans, Laura (Joel) Dobney, Katie Ropp, Matthew (Lisa) Ropp, Rachel Ropp, Craig (Caitlin) Ramseyer, and Maggie (Tyler) Branton.

Surviving great-grandchildren Paxton and Irene Eads; Titus, Patrick, Gideon, and Lydia Dobney; Maddie Price, Brody and Tucker Ropp; Hudson and Oakley Ramseyer; and Gunnar and Finley Branton. Twin great-grandchildren are expected in August.

He was a football coach for 44 years. He held a master’s degree from Bowling Green State University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri .

 At Missouri, he served as head scout and assistant football coach. He developed the first computerized scouting program for the team. The 1969 Missouri team was the Big 8 champion and played in the Orange Bowl.

In 1972, he was named head football coach at Wilmington College, In the 15 previous seasons, Wilmington had won only 28 games and had one winning season. Under Ramseyer, Wilmington had an overall record of 114-58-4, 17 winning seasons, and reached the national playoffs in 1980, 1982 and 1983, in an era when only eight teams qualified for the playoffs. In 1980, Wilmington advanced to the national championship game.

He was asked to be the first head coach at Clinch Valley College, now known as the University of Virginia’s College at Wise, and was hired in January 1991. He built a program from scratch and compiled a record at UVa-Wise of 62-46 with seven winning seasons.

Bill is a member of halls of fame at Bluffton University, Wilmington College, the University of Virginia's College at Wise, Clinton County, and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.

He authored several books including “Flip That Coin,” “Are You Ready for the Coin Toss,” and “Football's Most Challenging Two Minutes.”

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Bill's honor to the Bill and Mary Ramseyer Scholarship Fund at UVa-Wise; Wilmington College; Bluffton University; or to Mennonite Home Communities of Ohio.

Because of the COVID pandemic, a private graveside ceremony will be held.  Plans are being made for memorial services and celebrations of life when conditions improve.