City of Little Rock to honor Coach Charles Ripley, casket viewing to be held on Thursday

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- The City of Little Rock will honor legendary Coach Charles Ripley Thursday with an official “Coach Charles Ripley Day” to recognize the impact he had on central Arkansas.

Ripley passed away Sunday.

He was 74 years old.

Ripley was the head basketball coach for the Little Rock Catholic High School freshman team in 1967.

Ripley became the head basketball coach at Forest Heights Junior High the next year. He also became the head football coach at Forest Heights in 1970. The legendary coach’s 1969-70 basketball team won the state junior high title and his football squad was city champion. Ripley’s football team also won back-to-back city football championships in 1972 and 1973.

Ripley was then hired as the head basketball coach at Little Rock Parkview in 1974. In his 21 years leading the Patriots, he had a 487-145 win-loss record, won five state championships, 10 conference championships and two overall championships.

Ripley was selected to coach in the McDonald’s High School All-American Game in 1993.

Ripley was inducted into the Arkansas High School Coaches Hall of Fame in 1999 and the Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame in 2006.

Parkview named its basketball facility the Charles Ripley Gymnasium.

Ripley assisted Keith Jackson in mentoring and developing youth at Positive Atmosphere Reaches Kids (PARK).

Ripley then became the Athletic Director at Arkansas Baptist College.

The coach graduated from the University of Arkansas-Little Rock and received his master’s degree from the University of Arkansas- Fayetteville.

There will also be a public viewing of his casket at War Memorial Stadium on Thursday from 3 p.m. until 8 p.m.

Drive Time Spots and The Westrock Coffee Recruiting Intelligence Report presented by NFP Insurance on 103.7 The Buzz, will broadcast live from the stadium with Randy Rainwater, Marcus Elliott and Fitz Hill from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m.

Due to COVID-19, all attendees must adhere to social distancing guidelines and protective masks will be required.

There will be a private burial service on Friday.

Officials say there will be a celebration of life ceremony on his birthday next year, June 12, 2021, to honor the coach’s legacy.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to the “Rip It Scholarship Fund”, which will assist student-athletes in their dreams to pursue higher education. The Arkansas Baptist College Foundation is a 501c3 tax-exempt organization and all donations are tax-deductible as permitted by law.

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