A tribute to Coach
January 19, 2012
Certain things have become expected on Fall Friday nights in the Carson Valley. The Tigers will be playing a football game. The crowd will be standing for every kick off. Mike Rippee will be coaching the Tigers.
Coach Rippee has roamed the sidelines at the helm of Tigers for almost three decades. Coach Rippee’s story is written in 48 minute segments of time. Each chapter culminates in a win or a loss. The end of the story has now been written. Coach Rippee has brought a passion that has been unparalleled. Though opponents, officials, coaches and players changed his love for the game and the orange and black never wavered. He demanded effort and loyalty above all else and gave the same in return. For evidence of this one had to look no further than the Tiger sideline on any given Friday night. It would be littered with former players who had come back to watch their former club and to see their former coach and mentor. Often after games these players would wait to shake his hand or receive a customary hug. Win or loss he would take time to visit these boys many of which by now have become men.
Coach Rippee impacted the life of every student-athlete that he led during his tenure. He coached football while teaching life lessons of hard work, dignity, integrity, and sportsmanship. No matter what the record was he demanded these principles in practice and in games. Coach Rippee is a fierce competitor who hates to lose and would celebrate victories. He would take credit for all of the team’s losses yet none for the team’s success.
Coach Rippee served as the figure head for a team, a school and a town and he did a damn good job doing it. He took pride in wearing the orange and black and to him the colors became a lifestyle. Opposing coaches knew that playing a Rippee coached team meant that their own squad was in for a physical match regardless of the score. Due to his leadership this became Douglas Football.
Success can be measured in different ways and mean different things to different people. Coach Rippee’s success should not be measured in the amount of games he won. His success should be measured by the lives that he changed and by the men that he created.
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As former players we would like to thank Coach Rippee for all that he has done for us as a coach, teacher, and mentor. Beyond that we would like to thank him for his dedication to all of his former players. We wish you all the best in your retirement and the impact you have made will never be forgotten. Your loyalty and humility are truly remarkable.