Monday, February 6, 2012

Rest In Peace, Coach August

Coach Ron August 1941-2012
As Linfield sports reported last week, and what most of the Linfield community knows by now, is former Linfield Special Teams Coordinator Ron August, passed away on Saturday, January 28th in Salem at the age of 70.   Coach August was a tremendous coach and even a better person.  I was fortunate enough to be playing at Linfield when Ron to joined the staff in 1996.  Coach August made an immediate impact on the program with his organizational skills, prowess as special teams coach, and his legendary sense of humor.  Coach August had many other qualities as a coach that made him excel but his attention to detail is what made Linfield produce one standout kicking unit after the next.

From 1997 - 2007 the list of Linfield 1st team All-Conference specialists was robust:

1997- Andy Ward (Kicker)
1998- Tim Tackett (Punter)
1999- Scott Cannon (Kicker)
2000- Scott Cannon (Kicker), Alex Rix (Kick Return), Sonte Wong (Punt Return)
2001- Ryan Cruz (Kicker), Josh Thomas (Kick Return), Mike Cooney (Punt Return)
2002- James Wilson (Punter, All-American), Mike Cooney (Punt Return)
2003- James Wilson (Punter, All-American), Garrett Wales (Kicker), Eric Hillison (Kick Return), Josh Armstron (Punt Return), Brandon Hazenberg (Punt Return)
2004- James Wilson (Punter), Brandon Hazenberg (Kick Return), Brandon Hazenberg (Punt Return, All-American)
2005- John Daily (Kicker), Clint Laguemi (Punter), Brandon Hazenberg (Punt Return)
2007- Scott Birkhofer (Kicker, All-American), Travis Masters (Kick Return)

24 1st-Team All-NWC special teams selections under Coach August's 12-year watch.  That's remarkable number and strong testimony about the quality of coaching Ron provided to a number of Wildcats players during his tenure. 

However, Coach August's impact on the field didn't start at Linfield. Ron's legacy was well established before he came back to his Alma Mater. Coach August spent 25 years in the High School ranks with McKay and then Dallas High School. From 1970-1995, his combined record as a HS head coach was 183-75 (71% winning percentage), with 16 consecutive playoff births, and he led his 1986 Dallas team to the Oregon 3A State Championship.

Beyond the numbers and accolades the bottom line is that Coach August was a great guy. He loved a good joke, was a standout role-model for his players and peers, was a great family man, and he enjoyed life. So many of us Wildcats feel fortunate to have been coached by Ron and we'll be forever grateful to him.

If you can, please join us on Saturday, Feb. 18, at 1 p.m. at Dallas High School to celebrate his life. I'll let Coach August have the last word. Rest In Peace Coach.

Linfield Sports: Beloved football alumnus Ron August passes away
Statesman Journal: Peers, former players remember coach August

1 comment:

Sonté Wong said...

Coach August used to give me the scouting report on the opposing team's punter before the game. He would talk to me on the sideline on 3rd downs. Coach August would come out of nowhere with the most off the wall off topic joke. Those jokes helped me work thru some temper tantrums. Thanks coach.