Santa Paula Times

Joey Ramirez (pictured above left) huddles with his players (above right) during a time out this past season.

Ramirez stepping down as head of Cardinal boys’ basketball program

May 10, 2006
Joey Ramirez has submitted his resignation as head coach of the Santa Paula High School boys’ basketball program. Ramirez will continue to teach at the school coach the freshman team next year, but wants to finish his masters degree and he and his wife are having another child as well. “I just want to finish school and be there for my family some more while doing that,” Ramirez said. He said that to run the program the right way takes a lot of time, including the raising of $15,000-to-$20,000 just to have a program.Ramirez said his ultimate goal is to coach college basketball. “I have been offered assistant positions already and have not been able to make the move because I have not completed my masters,” he added. “I could teach high school and coach at a college if I wanted to but I don’t want to do that. I want to be there on campus.”Ramirez, a math teacher at the high school, started coaching at the school in 1998, doing the junior varsity and freshman levels together. He then coached girls varsity for a year, when he accepted a position at Hueneme High School, but chose to return to Santa Paula when Tom Donahue, the head boys’ coach, left to run the program at Westlake High School.His first year as varsity coach, Ramirez started four sophomores and a freshman. “I chose to go with the guys that wanted to make the commitment that we needed to be successful,” he said. “They happened to be the youth of the program. I came in so late (August) that we had no summer program. It took us a year to get it together and we began to compete with the top teams in the county.”Ramirez says he had a lot of favorite moments over the past few years. “I enjoy the ones where kids exceed their own expectations,” Ramirez noted. “That happens a lot in Santa Paula. Not very many people understand what is actually possible with the right commitment and dedication (Ask Chepe Lara). I have enjoyed watching many kids grow and get better.”He says the entire program grew from the first day they were together. “We would not have been able to compete with Oxnard, Oaks Christian, Ventura, Oak Park, St. Bernard, Servite, to mention a few, if we didn’t grow and get better,” Ramirez said. “I started with the same guys we ended up with this year.”
Ramirez has high hopes for the team next year with returning players like Daniel and Ben Kolbeck, Travis Marella and Nick Pulido. He says he wishes he could have inherited a team like that when he first started four years ago.He doesn’t know who will take over the team next year, but he says it’ll have to be someone who is available to the kids and has time to raise the money needed for the program.As for how long he’ll remain at Santa Paula High, Ramirez doesn’t know how long that will be. “I like it here and the people at the school are great,” he said.