Ramunno to be volunteer assistant at Palisade in fall

Joe Ramunno is back where his football coaching career started.

The former Colorado Mesa University coach will join the Palisade High School staff next fall as an volunteer assistant.

“We’ve been in discussion with Joe after we found out he wouldn’t be returning to Mesa,” Palisade Athletic Director Mike Krueger said. “We always joked before if you ever have a chance to come back (to Palisade), the door is always open.”

Ramunno was asked if he was interested in helping as an assistant under head coach John Arledge.

“I told Arledge I’d help out,” Ramunno told The Daily Sentinel. “I’m just glad to be back in coaching.”

Ramunno had other coaching opportunities in college, but wanted to stay in the valley.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to bring back an incredible coach and human being,” said Krueger, who was Ramunno’s offensive coordinator on the 1996 state champion team.

Ramunno has discussed coaching the offensive line with Arledge, but Krueger said Ramunno will do whatever is needed.

Ramunno was 80-77 in his 14 seasons as Mesa’s head coach. His teams reached the NCAA playoffs three times and he led the Mavs to the RMAC’s first Division II playoff win, 40-21 over Northeastern Oklahoma State in 2000.

Ramunno was an All-American offensive lineman at Wyoming, then played with the Chicago Bears in 1985 before injuries ended his career.

He returned to Wyoming as a graduate assistant for one season, then was hired at Palisade. In his nine seasons, there he led the Bulldogs to four consecutive state titles and set several Colorado high school state records. He was the Colorado Coach of the Year, Denver Broncos Coach of the Year and Rocky Mountain Coach of the Year. Palisade was 79-31 in his nine years.

Krueger said Ramunno could possibly teach at the school if there is an opening for a teacher next fall and his credentials are current.

Raummno’s son, Niko, will be a freshman at Palisade High School next fall.


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