2023 SOCCER INDUCTEE
On November 7th, 2015, the Fresno Pacific men’s soccer team defeated Dixie State. That win clinched a Pacific West Conference title for the Sunbirds; it also happened to be the 300th win at FPU for head coach Jaime Ramirez.
Born in Mexicali, Mexico, just south of the U.S. border, Jaime Ramirez recalls watching the 1966 World Cup on a black-and-white television and deciding then that he wanted to one day become a professional soccer player. He moved to Clovis to live with his grandparents when he was eleven years old and that dream came with him, despite the fact that as a teenager in California, he went four years without playing the sport.
Jaime Ramirez attended Clovis High School, and he lettered in three sports (football, soccer and tennis) from 1973-1976. In soccer, he was a four-time all-North Yosemite League player. That success continued in college at Fresno Pacific, where he was a threetime NAIA all-American from 1977-1980.
During his senior season, Ramirez became the Sunbirds’ all-time leader in goals (54) and points (134); those records stood for nearly 20 years.
In January of 1982, Jaime Ramirez played one season on the reserve team for the Los Angeles Aztecs of the North American Soccer League. He then returned to Fresno (and Fresno Pacific) to get a teaching credential, and when he was back on campus, he was asked by Ben Norton to be an assistant coach.
Jaime Ramirez spent nine years as an assistant coach at FPU. For many of those years while he was on Norton’s staff, he also led his own staff at Roosevelt High School. In 1991, his focus was firmly on Fresno Pacific when he became the program’s head coach.
In his first season, Ramirez led the Sunbirds to a 15-2-1 record and he was named the Golden State Athletic Conference’s Coach of the Year. It was the first of numerous accolades for Ramirez throughout his coaching career, another of which came in 2001 when Fresno Pacific dedicated its new soccer facility, ‘Ramirez Field.’
FPU added a women’s soccer team in 1998, and Jaime Ramirez was that program’s first head coach. He was also the first head coach of the Fresno Fuego, from 2003-2007. In 2011, he became Director of Coaching for Central California Soccer Alliance and, later, Director of Coaching for Valley United Soccer Club.
Jaime Ramirez was inducted into the FPU Athletics Hall of Fame in 1992, and into the Clovis Unified School District Athletic Hall of Fame in 2022.