HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — If there was a Mount Rushmore of Central Pennsylvania football coaches, Tim Rimpfel would definitely be on it.
The legendary head coach passed away Tuesday at the age of 73.
Rimpfel’s career began at Trinity High School in the late 1970’s and spanned 43 years. He coached at McDevitt and Cumberland Valley, before retiring in 2012. He came back to coaching a few years ago to help at Boiling Springs.
No matter where Rimpfel went, his impact was felt on and off the field by all who knew him.
“You think about the State of Pennsylvania and the great coaches that have come out of this state,” said Michael Whitehead, who coached under Rimpfel and worked with him at Cumberland Valley. “He ranks right up there with the top guys.”
He won a pair of district titles with the Crusaders before heading to Cumberland Valley in the late 1980’s. He would coach the Eagles for the next 24 years, winning numerous district titles and a state championship in 1992.
“You can’t have Cumberland Valley football without Tim Rimpfel,” said current Eagles head coach Josh Oswalt, who played for Rimpfel. “Harry Chapman, Tim Rimpfel–they are Cumberland Valley football–you take those guys out and there isn’t a history.”
On the field, he was remembered as a classic, hard-nosed football coach.
“I remember losing to Central Dauphin and coming back to getting reamed out in the weight room,” Oswalt said with a smile. “It was a tough bus ride home, he put us all in the weight room, ripped us a new one, and then we could go home.”
But off the field, he’ll be remembered as a friend and mentor to many.
“You just think about the number of players and coaches that he’s impacted in his career–you can’t even start counting the number,” Whitehead said.
Like those on the real Mount Rushmore, the legacy of Tim Rimpfel will live on much past Tuesday. He was one of the coaches who helped put Central Pennsylvania football on the map and, put simply by Whitehead, it’s a big loss for many.
“It’s a sad day for football coaches.”