Legendary Ringling coach dead at age 59

By: KXII Staff Email
By: KXII Staff Email

RINGLING, Okla. -- Funeral services for Coach Rick Gandy, 59, of Ringling will be 10:00 a.m. on Friday, June 20, 2008, at the 50-yard-line of the Blue Devil Stadium in Ringling with Rev. Mike Williams and Rev. Paul Reed officiating. Interment will follow at Ringling Memorial Cemetery. Services are under the direction of Alexander Funeral Home in Ringling.

Coach Rick Gandy was born August 19, 1948 at Redlands, California, to Leroy and Oleta Pearl Johnson Gandy. Leaving and indelible mark on this world, he departed it on Monday, June 16, 2008, at Healdton from complications of injuries received in a horse riding accident on February 22, 2005.

Growing up in Ringling, Rick was active in Athletics and the FFA. On August 31, 1968, he married his high school sweetheart, Phyllis Kay Longest. They were soon blessed with two sons, Richie and Tracy.

Upon graduation from college in 1970, he began teaching and coaching in the Ringling Public School system. He held many positions in his 37 years, including High School Principal and Superintendent, but always found himself back to coaching the Ringling Blue Devils Football Team. His career record stood, 242 winning Football games, of 28 seasons, 26 as head coach. He was inducted into the Oklahoma Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2004 and had been the All State Head Football Coach in 1984.

Rick lost his mother in March of 1976 only months after making his first appearance in the Oklahoma Class A Football Championship Game. He was also preceded in death by his parents-in-law, R.T. and Lorene Longest.

He leaves behind a winning legacy football program that will be a part of Blue Devil Football forever. Rick was a member of the Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church of Ringling.

Honorary Bearers will be whom Coach Rick Gandy stated as “All students that I had the opportunity to teach and all the athletes that I had the opportunity to coach”.

Family visitation will be from 6-8 p.m. Thursday evening at Alexander Funeral Home in Ringling.

Memorials are asked to be sent to the Rick Gandy Memorial Scholarship Fund in c/o First National Bank and Trust at 125 W. Main St., Ringling, OK 73456.

Condolences may be sent online at http://www.alexanderfuneralhome.org

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  • by Anonymous on Jun 23, 2008 at 07:44 PM
    One of the greatest men I ever knew. There was never a coach as great as him and will never be another one as good as him. He coached my dad and my brother. He'll be sorely missed.
  • by Anonymous Location: Gainesville on Jun 22, 2008 at 07:50 PM
    My thoughts and prayers are with the Gandy family and Ringling High School. Coach Gandy was a great man and his sons are wonderful people. I am so sorry to hear this news.
  • by Jerry Location: Ringling on Jun 19, 2008 at 12:39 PM
  • by Anonymous Location: M. Hoy Marlow/Davis on Jun 17, 2008 at 06:30 PM
    Rick commanded the deepest respect from men who coached with him or on the opposite side of the field. Coach Gandy's impact on young men's lives and the Ringling community was remarkable. His devotion to Ringling along the high standards he set for himself and his athletes will live on for generations.
  • by Anonymous on Jun 17, 2008 at 04:23 PM
    Rick touched the lives of so many...not just kids but adults as well! I feel blessed to have known RicK. He believed in kids when no one else did! The town of Ringling lost a great deal with his passing! Make no mistake...Ringling Blue Devil football will play with pride in your honor forever! Go Blue!!!
  • by Jacob Location: Ringling on Jun 17, 2008 at 04:15 PM
    We will miss you Coach Gandy. You were the best coach Ringling ever thought about.You will never be replace you wil be missed.
  • by Anonymous on Jun 17, 2008 at 09:47 AM
    No one will be able to fill your shoes. I'm sad that your gone but happy to know your no longer in pain.
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