posted January 7, 2004

Alumnus Ron Schipper Presented National Football Award

Courtesy Central College Sports Information

AFCA Announcement

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Hope alumnus Ron Schipper received the Amos Alonzo Stagg Award at an awards luncheon at the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) convention in Orlando, Fla. Tuesday, Jan. 6.

The award, which honors those "whose services have been outstanding in the advancement of the best interests of football," is named after Amos Alonzo Stagg who was instrumental in founding the AFCA in the 1920s.

Schipper retired from coaching at Central after the 1996 season following a 36-year stint. He compiled 287 career victories, which ranked second among NCAA Division III coaches at his retirement. His career record of 287-67-3, ranked fourth in Div. III in career winning percentage at the time of his retirement with a .808 mark.

Schipper led the Dutch to 36 consecutive winning seasons. During his tenure, Central won a record 18 Iowa Conference championships and earned 10 titles in his final 13 years as head coach. Under his reign, the Dutch won a national title in 1974 and advanced to the finals three times, placing second in 1984 and 1988.

A past president of the AFCA, Schipper served on the Association's Board of Trustees from 1985-94. He was named one of the five most influential people in the NCAA Div. III in 1994 by College Sports Magazine. He was a five-time AFCA District/Regional Coach of the Year recipient.

Schipper is a 1952 Hope College graduate. At Hope he lettered in football, baseball and tennis. He was presented the college's Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1994.

In retirement he and his wife Joyce, a 1951 Hope alumna, now live in Holland and are active in the life of their alma mater.

Comments from Ron Schipper at the awards luncheon:

"I humbly accept this award. My wife (Joyce) is more responsible than anyone else for me being here. She allowed me for 52 years to do something I love doing.

"The players and coaches at Central are very special to me and always will be. There was never a day when I didn't want to go to work, and it was because of the people.

"My love for this game is unsurpassed. I want every young man who loves this game to have an opportunity to play.

"I received a Christmas card from a former player. In this card, the young man stated, 'If I were given the chance to re-live three hours of my life, it would be playing football at Central.' Now, how could you not want to coach?"