6 — Palisade brings Ramunno back to coach football team
Palisade High School administrators made a surprising decision at the end of January when they released head football coach John Arledge after eight highly successful seasons in charge of the Bulldogs.
A month-and-a-half later, the man they hired to succeed Arledge came as no surprise at all. Joe Ramunno, who guided Palisade to four straight state titles before coaching Mesa State College’s football team for 14 years, was hired in mid-March for his second stint as Palisade’s head football coach.
Ramunno had been an assistant to Arledge at Palisade the preceding fall.
Ramunno inherited a great program as the Bulldogs remained a state power under Todd Casebier, then Arledge, who had a 69-22 record and led Palisade to the Class 3A state semifinals twice.
In his first year back, Ramunno guided Palisade to the championship of the rugged 3A Western Slope Conference, which produced four playoff teams, the most of any 3A conference.
The Bulldogs finished with a 10-2 record overall, and they briefly were ranked No. 1 in Class 3A.
Palisade won a first-round playoff game before bowing 24-21 to The Classical Academy in the second round.