Coach Charlie Ricards Is Retiring!
After 40 years of faithful service to Woodcrest Christian, Coach Charlie Ricards is retiring! As coach and athletic director for Woodcrest Christian, Charlie Ricards has shaped the sports program in virtually every way. His career at Woodcrest Christian began in 1980 and his coaching career started in 1981 when he inherited the helm of the Varsity Girls Volleyball team until 1983. The following year he took on the Varsity Boys Basketball program and led it for 17 years, posting an overall record of 278-147. During those years, his teams won the league title five times and made the play-offs every year, earning a spot in the quarter finals three times and the semis once.
A Retirement Celebration will be scheduled for Coach Ricards this year as we are able to gather in groups once again. Please check this website page or our social media for an update.
If you have a special memory or would like to leave a message for Charlie to be included in his celebration, please email: email@example.com.
Then in 1987, Charlie added Boys Volleyball to his responsibilities, guiding that team for a total of 27 seasons and earning a lifetime record of 417-28, capturing 23 league titles in the process. He climaxed his career by winning 105 matches in a row, and five of his athletes went on to play collegiately. Two other programs that he led were the Varsity Boys Tennis squad, where he coached for nine years with a 72-74 record and five CIF play-off appearances, and the Varsity Boys Golf team, where he guided the team from 1985-1990 and then again from 2002 to the present, finishing with a (COVID-19 shortened) record of 218-183, capturing three league titles and eight league sportsmanship awards in the process. Six of his players went on to play at the college level and two became teaching professionals. With a total of over 80 seasons of coaching, Charlie has demonstrated great success in coaching over nearly four and a half decades.
Dozens of former athletes credit Charlie for shaping them into the men and women they are today and many desire to model their own coaching on the standards they saw lived out every day by Coach Ricards. (Photo: Charlie Ricards leading P.E. in 1985.)
But his legacy extends far beyond the work he has done with WCS athletes because of the amazing leadership he has provided for our program as a whole. He assumed the position of Athletic Director in 1984 as the third AD in the school’s history and has served faithfully there until the present. In that role, he has been the consummate professional: his organized attention to details has been evident in the smooth running of the program. The skills he developed in athletic leadership have allowed him to mentor AD’s at other schools both in our league and in the Inland Empire area. The standards of integrity and sportsmanship that he established for the athletic program at Woodcrest Christian High School have been recognized as the school has won 13 of 18 CIF Dodgers/Toyota/Shake for Sportsmanship Awards at one point. Charlie’s commitment to and success in coaching and athletic leadership was also recognized by the Riverside Sport Hall of Fame when they awarded him a spot on the local “Wall of Distinction” in 2017.
As an administrator in a Christian school, his focus has always been to use athletics to help develop the Christian character of our athletes, whether he was coaching himself or leading other coaches in our program. His leadership abilities extend far beyond the school itself, however, as he was the co-founder of the Inland Coast Boys Volleyball League and served at its President from its inception in 1987 until he was finally relieved of that responsibility in 2007. During the time the Big Sky League existed, he led it as President from 2002-2010 and was its CIF Representative as well. Then when the Big Sky League was dissolved and the Ambassador League created, he has assumed the responsibility of being its CIF Representative for it from 2010 until 2020. Notable, he also served on the CIF Southern Section Executive Committee from 2012-2016.
Finally, though Charlie is a man of great success and even greater character, he possesses the humble heart of a servant. He shuns the spotlight and does not seek the glory for himself. An illustration of that relates to athletic transportation. One of things that has often gone along with a coaching position at WCS is the need to become certified as a California school bus driver. Coaching is challenging enough, but when driving the team to the event and then driving them back home afterwards is added, it really requires a spirit that seeks to serve. More than that, however, when the need arose, Charlie became certified as a school bus driving instructor to help other coaches meet their requirements. A more thankless task might be difficult to find.
Though Charlie is a man of great success and even greater character, he possesses the humble heart of a servant. (Photo: Charlie Ricards celebrating in 1990.)
But perhaps most important of all, has been Charlie’s impact on young lives. From his many years of coaching to his interactions with students as Athletic Director, Charlie has consistently and mightily invested in students; mentoring them through wins and losses, coming alongside them in personal loss, and encouraging them to always rise above the circumstances and demonstrate integrity, hard work, honesty, and excellent sportsmanship. That investment has returned a hundred-fold as dozens of former athletes credit Charlie for shaping them into the men and women they are today and many desire to model their own coaching on the standards they saw lived out every day by Coach Ricards.
Charlie, in a sense, IS Woodcrest Christian athletics. His imprint on our school has been far reaching and his faithful service is an example to us all. His leadership will be missed! Will you join us in celebrating him? A retirement party will be scheduled once the current social distancing requirements (due to COVID-19) are lifted. In the meantime, if you have a special memory or would like to leave a message for Charlie to be included in his celebration, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org. An announcement/invitation will be sent out once a date for the celebration has been determined and will be posted to our social media.
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