Clarksville, Ark.-Longtime Lamar High School Girl's Basketball Coach Carl Ramsey is the new Head Women's Basketball Coach at the University of the Ozarks, it was announced by Ozarks' Athletics Director Jimmy Clark Monday.
Ramsey makes the jump to his alma mater after spending the last 29 seasons as head coach at one of the top high school girl’s basketball programs in Arkansas. Ramsey’s senior high teams averaged 22 wins during his career and he has posted a 660-227 (.744) overall record. He led Lamar to eight state tournament appearances during his tenure, including a stretch of four straight years where the Lady Warriors played for the state championship (1987-1991). He won state titles in both 1988 and 1991. 19 of his teams have produced more than 20 wins. He has coached 22 All-State players and five who have played in the Arkansas Activities Association All-Star Game.
“We are excited about hiring a veteran coach that has won a lot of games during his career,” said Clark. “He is a guy who knows how to win. He has an impressive overall winning percentage, and I believe he will get us back to prominence. He knows how to get the most out of his players. I think he will bring local interest back to the program and he has many ties within the state that can be used for recruiting. I have confidence he can win as a college coach.”
Ramsey, who never had a losing season, guided Lamar to 24 regional tournament appearances. Six of his teams went to the regional championship game, with three of those winning the title. In addition to his coaching career, he has served as the school’s athletic director the past 24 years.
“Lamar has been good to me,” said Ramsey. “I felt like I was at a time in my career where I needed a change. I wanted to bring on new challenges. The thought of starting over at something is exciting to me. I am more excited about basketball than I have been in a long time. As coaches, sometimes you get too complacent and you need to get out of your comfort zone. I think this a good opportunity and the timing is right for me. I’ve always had a connection to Ozarks. The thought of coming back where you started your career is enticing. I still have passion for the game.”
Ramsey’s teams are known for applying a tenacious full court defensive press, but that may change depending on the team’s personnel.
“I will try to beat you with what we have,” said Ramsey. “My state championship teams had different offensive styles. I can’t tell you exactly what we will do here. My overall philosophy is that we will play hard every game. We will prepare well and figure out what suits us best to win games. I would love to press and play up-tempo if the right kids are in place. I would like to create a lot of offense with our defense.”
Ramsey was voted the Conference Coach of the Year 10 times and was a five-time KARV Dream Team Coach of the Year honoree. In 1990, he was the head coach of the West team in the Arkansas Activities Association All-Star Game.
“The Ozarks’ campus will sell itself,” said Ramsey. “The university has an outstanding academic reputation and it provides a family-like atmosphere. The people who work here are selling points. The student-faculty ratio is another selling point. A student here receives valuable individual attention. Those were the type of things that I enjoyed as a student here. On the court, I want to find passionate players who work hard. I want players that want to be part of a strong program.”
Ramsey received his bachelor’s degree in Physical Education from Ozarks in 1979.
Ramsey and his wife, Kathy, are the parents of one son and one daughter.
Ramsey becomes the 5th head coach in program history and replaces Christina Jost, who took a job in New Mexico after three seasons at Ozarks.