As One.

Constantine Rutigliano

Dedication. Sacrifice. Brotherhood. Patience. All of these qualities and more were displayed by legendary Ramapo Football Coach Drew Gibbs. He touched the lives of his players, his colleagues, his friends, and his family – both biological and Ramapo highschool. On October 7th, the Ramapo community celebrated their beloved coach by officially dedicating the football field as the “Drew Gibbs Field” and having Those who knew him share fond memories of Coach Gibbs.
On November 15th, 2021, Coach Gibbs collapsed at a routine football practice, and was taken to Valley Hospital. He underwent surgery to try and stop the aortic dissection that had caused his fall. Tragically, Coach Gibbs did not survive the surgery, and died on November 16th. News of his passing was broken to students when they sat down for first period on that solemn Tuesday. A cloud of grief swept over the FLOW district as the news spread farther, and many hearts were broken. Coach Gibbs wasn’t just a coach. He was a friend, a father, an inspiration, a husband. His legacy lives on through everyone he left a mark on.
The Ramapo community keeps his memory alive through their actions and memories of his teachings. Here is an account from senior offensive lineman Nick Gualda on his memory of Coach Gibbs:

“He always wanted the best for us and for us to win. He wanted every aspect of the game to be perfect. He always got the best of his players. On and off the field, he was a great guy. He never underestimated his opponents and made sure that we had enough practice to beat them. One time we played a game in my sophomore year where the other team drove two hours to get here, then he huddled everyone together and thanked them for playing us.”

Fond stories and words were also shared by senior right guard Luke McEnery:

“He taught me resilience and to never give up and even in the face of adversity, his teachings helped me through his death. He helped me to finish off the season and it helped me personally on the football field to help me get better. I remember when our 27-0 winning streak was snapped, he wasn’t fazed – he said ‘the sun rose today; don’t worry – I checked’ It was eye opening. He would always say: next man up, you might not be where you want to be right now but in the future you will be.”

Many teachers in Ramapo had known Coach for many years, feeling the same pain that the students did. One of those teachers is Physical Education Teacher and Coach David Van Hook, who relayed this:

“I shared an office with him – I think about him everyday. We would spend every ninth period together and talk about our families – obviously I miss him dearly. I miss our conversations about football and family. I miss him a lot, and it’s hard to see all the pictures of him. You miss him, then see him all over. I miss our conversations. They would range from ropes class to families to children to music. We always played 70s and 80s rock music in our office and I haven’t done that this year without him. I often think of all the advice he gave me as a coach. In a nutshell, he would say don’t sweat the small stuff. There’s things that are essential and not essential. What would his advice be? I ask myself that all the time. What would Coach Gibbs do?”

At hard times we should ask ourselves: what would Coach Gibbs do? He’d probably answer with one of his famous quotes, “Do what we do.”