People are remembering a legendary football coach from Southwest Florida who has passed away. North Fort Myers football coach Ron Hoover made an impact in the community for years, and SWFL will feel the hole that’s left by his passing.
Ron Hoover was a champion, a disciplinarian who demanded perfection. His players told WINK News that that kind of coaching helped them all through their lives.
If you’ve been in Southwest Florida for a while, North Fort Myers High School football and Ron Hoover are synonymous. Hoover was so much more than a coach. He was a father as well.
His former players are taking this loss pretty hard. James Chaney played for Ron Hoover. “We talked on the phone probably three or four times in the last few months, and it always ends in tears. He just says he tells me that he’s so proud of me and you know, me on the phone crying,” Chaney said.
Larry Gary played for Ron Hoover as well. “I’m speechless here because it’s hard to believe I thought that old guy was going to live forever,” Gary said.
Hoover’s legacy lives on forever. His name is proudly displayed on the school’s field house. On his list of many accomplishments are 117 wins and eight conference titles. His formula for success put hard work at the forefront.
“With that type of mentality that he put into all his players on the field. When everybody left here off the field, I think they had a more solid foundation,” Gary said.
For Gary, what made Hoover so special was that he cared so much. “Kids don’t care what you think. They want to know that you care about them. And boy, they’ll go through a brick wall,” said Gary.
After being inspired by Coach Hoover, Gary and a handful of other former players became coaches. This was the way they honored their beloved coach.
Hoover’s most famous player, Deion Sanders, posted some photos on his Instagram story. The first one says, “rest in peace Ron Hoover.” The second says that “I’m going to miss you, man. You were an absolute treasure.”