CASA GRANDE – The second season of PinalCentral’s Retro Rewind podcast capped off this week with the final guest being former Casa Grande Union football player Louie Ramirez.
Ramirez graduated from CG Union in 2011 and then went on to become a graduate assistant at Arizona State, Truman State in Missouri and Northern Arizona.
He also was an assistant coach at Tempe Marcos de Niza and Gilbert Mesquite before he eventually landed his first head coaching job at Marana. Ramirez is currently the associate coach at Scottsdale Saguaro.
In this week’s Retro Rewind episode, Ramirez spoke about how supportive the Casa Grande community was to him and his teammates back when the Cougars struggled on the gridiron. He stated that growing up in town was a unique and humbling experience.
“It was probably one of the most humbling experiences,” Ramirez said. “I got to be on the field during the Casa Grande state championship game against Poston Butte and to see the community that attended that game at Sun Devil Stadium was mesmerizing. … It was really special and no matter what the wins and losses were back when I played or the down years, I think everybody in that community took a lot of pride in seeing what coach Jake Barro did there in his tenure at Casa Grande.”
Ramirez also spoke about his journey into coaching and his experience at Marana as well as what it’s like to be past of a premiere program like Saguaro.
Wrapping up the second half of guests for Retro Rewind was Maricopa swim coach Laura Logan.
Logan spoke about her adventure in becoming a swim coach in Pinal County at the Central Arizona College swimming pool and developing one of the top swim programs in the Arizona Seals Swimming Academy.
“One thing led to another and (the lady) handed me a clipboard and says, ‘I don’t really know how to run a swim team,’” Logan said. “I said, ‘Well I’m not here for a swim team, I was just here for my son.’ So next thing you know I’m in the middle of it and I’ve got six kids and then I’ve got 60 kids and then I’ve got state champions.”
The guest after Logan was Poston Butte baseball head coach Chris Holcombe.
Holcombe has a long standing history in the state as he was a multi-sport athlete at Peoria where he played football, basketball and baseball.
He then went on to play college ball in the southern California area and eventually found his way back to Arizona in Pinal County and its neighboring area as he briefly coached at Queen Creek and Apache Junction before taking over the Broncos’ program.
“I’d always felt that the athletes were there, they just needed some direction and some guidance in how to be a winning team,” Holcombe said. “I think the experience was there, and this is not to bash on any of the coaches that were there before, there have been some really good coaches, but just to get the feel of the team. … We just played more to our strengths and brought in a philosophy of just simplifying things and having more of a focus what we wanted to do in a way that would be more successful for our kids.”
The rest of the Retro Rewind guests include: Central Arizona baseball coach Anthony Gillich, former NFL player and Coolidge multi-sport athlete Alvin Moore, former Central Arizona rodeo coach Varr Myers, Tom Wilson who played a pivotal role in bringing an organized youth soccer league to Casa Grande and CG Union football coach Mark Luna.
To listen to all of this season’s and previous episodes visit: pinalcentral.com/retro_rewind.