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Eagles' Ramos resigns

For the last seven years people have been asking Collins Hill wrestling coach Cliff Ramos when he would retire.

That day came Tuesday night.

Ramos announced his retirement to the Collins Hill wrestling program, ending a 34-year coaching career.

"There's a lot of things. No. 1 and this is in honor of (former Collins Hill football coach) Alan Fahring, I want to spend less time with my family. Whenever someone retries they say they want to spend more time with their family. We always said when we retire we would say that, but he didn't get a chance because of his cancer."

The past few years Ramos has taught part-time at Collins Hill. The county is expected to only keep a handful of part-time employees, so that played a factor in his decision. He also wants to travel more and spend more time with his best friend Steve West, but more importantly focus on serving God.

"I don't know how yet, but I can serve Him more," Ramos said.

Ramos has certainly been blessed as a wrestling coach.

Ramos started his coaching career in Butler, Mo., in the late 70s, spent five years at East Hall and then spent eight years at Meadowcreek before taking over the Collins Hill program. During that span he collected more than 600 wins and 80 losses.

He built the Collins Hill program from scratch and turned it into the best program in the state. The Eagles have won five traditional state championships and four dual state titles and have finished in the top three at state the last 11 years.

The Eagles have produced 31 state champions and 111 state placers, most notably four-time state champion Tyler Parker.

"I'm so happy to do this in my career," Ramos said. "There's a lot of teachers and coaches that have regrets, but I don't have any. I would do it all again."

Ramos' final year as a head coach will go down as the best in Georgia history. The Eagles won the traditional state tournament with 301 points and had six state champions, both were the most ever in Class AAAAA.

"That doesn't have anything to do with my retirement," Ramos said. "I think next year's team will be No. 1 and will be very good. It's a good way to go out this year and this season is the best ever."

The state success just goes along with an impressive out-of-state schedule where the Eagles won the Toshiba Midwest Classic, placed second at the Powerade Invitational and third at the Final Four. Collins Hill's only dual losses were to nationally ranked Brandon (Fla.) by 10 points and Blair Academy (N.J.), who was No. 1 in the country at the time, by three points. The Eagles are ranked No. 9 in the country, which is the highest ranking ever by a Georgia team.

"The past year has been the most grueling year I've ever spent in my life," Ramos said. "Since two days after the state tournament last year to Saturday night I've been working."

Ramos has recommended that assistant coach Josh Stephen take over the program, but a formal decision has not been made by the school. The Missouri native has been involved with wrestling for 45 years and plans to stay involved with the sport in some capacity.

"I would never be a head coach anywhere else than Collins Hill," Ramos said. "I'll be a Collins Hill fan, I'll tell you that. I love Collins Hill wrestling. I've been doing it for 16 years and I just love it."