Thank you Copperas Cove
As I was cleaning and clearing my office on Monday, April 30, so many memories came to mind. The great memories in my mind focused on the teamwork of the coaches and players. My memories are of others, not myself.
Sincerely, I want to thank the community of Copperas Cove for allowing me to be your athletic director and head football coach for twenty-four years. Copperas Cove is a special community. The coaches and I have had a fantastic time serving you.
I am indebted to the Copperas Cove community for the outstanding support extended to all athletic teams over the years. Without this support, the extraordinary successes achieved would simply have not been possible. Year after year, season after season, the true blue Dawg fans have cheered loudly for the sports teams.
I have dedicated my life to helping young people. Although I could have retired eight years ago, I continued to serve because of my love for coaching student-athletes and working side by side with great comrades. The student-athletes in Cove were the finest ever to work with.
Prior to our arrival in 1994, the football program had not reached the playoffs from 1963-1993 and only had one winning season (1976). We have been fortunate and blessed to have guided 18 Cove teams into the playoffs, have 20 winning seasons and compile a 193-84-1 record. The Dawgs have had wins over notorious programs such as Converse Judson, Odessa Permian, Southlake Carroll, Aledo, Mesquite Horn and Arlington Lamar. The Dawgs have played for two state championships, placed over 300 players in college football and 13 in the NFL/CFL.
In addition to having great assistant coaches, successful teams have great players. We have been fortunate to work with some of the best players in Texas football. Many former Dawgs have gone on to participate and excel in college football all over America.
Our other sports programs have also been very successful. The overall athletic program was ranked 15th regionally in a recent poll. In addition, the track and power lifting teams have both won state championships in recent years. Volleyball and basketball have been trendsetters. Now, the baseball and softball programs have become forces to be reckoned with.
I have served side by side with the greatest coaches and athletic trainers in high school sports. Their dedication has kept Bulldawg Nation competitive throughout the years. Almost every sports program made the state playoffs.
I am pleased to leave a football program that is poised to experience success. Our current football group is remarkably talented. There is an excellent group of returners from last season’s playoff team. Both junior varsity squads are returning from being undefeated district champions and the freshmen group has the largest group of linemen CCHS has had in many years. The new coaching staff will have a solid group to work with. Now I can sit in the stands and cheer.
It is extremely rare for a coach to stay in one place for twenty-four years. I am deeply grateful to the community for the outstanding support, our coaches for their dedication and friendship and all of the student-athletes from the past to the present for making this job my Mayberry. Mayberry was a great television show and had a remarkable run but it even ended. Now, we can all enjoy the re-runs. I will forever envision the re-runs of Copperas Cove football warmly in my memories.
To take a couple lines from the movie Lonesome Dove and put in my own words, I would like to say, “It really has been quite a party”. In addition, I would like to say, “A man of vision you say.” Yes, a vision of love, comrades, great competitors and a community with so many friends that a man does not deserve. Most of all, knowing God says there is more in store.”
I wish CCISD the very best in the future and I look forward to exploring how I may continue to serve our students and community. Thank you again Copperas Cove, I love you.
Thought for the week, “It feels right. But it’s emotional. Saying goodbye to anything you’ve done that long is hard.” Angela Ruggiero