New field honors Ramirez as coach and mentor

A man who personifies soccer success and Christian witness at Fresno Pacific University will be honored during the dedication of the university's new soccer field.

Ceremonies to christen Jaime Ramirez Soccer Field begin at 1:45 p.m. Saturday, October 27, at the field, located inside the Bill Cockerham Track at the east edge of campus. Ramirez is head FPU soccer coach. "When you think of Fresno Pacific soccer, that's who think of," said Max Steinert. Max and Charlotte Steinert made the major gift for the field and requested it be named for Ramirez.

"I think it's appropriate to honor people while they're still alive and can enjoy the honor," Steinert said. Two of Steinert's daughters have worked with Ramirez: Allison as a trainer and Megan as a member of the women's club soccer team. "His players admire and respect him. He's the reason some of them are there," Steinert said.

Ramirez was quick to share his honor with others. "The first thing, obviously, is to say ‘thank you'," he said. "I'm in awe of the generosity of the Steinert family and humbled by the whole thing." The Steinerts, of Bakersfield, Calif., have long supported FPU through gifts of time as well as finances. Max and Charlotte and his parents, Marvin and Nadene, have been involved with Steinert Field, the present soccer facility, Steinert Campus Center and other projects. Max is assistant treasurer of the board of trustees and Marvin is a member emeritus.

It's an honor to be associated with the Steinerts and other donors. "It's a symbol of generous hearts contributing to the university. It's very humbling," Ramirez said.

Since Ramirez became head coach in 1991, after serving as assistant since 1982, the men's soccer program has achieved a 118-60-14 record and winning percentage of .652 coming into the 2001 season. The Sunbirds also earned four Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) championships. The 1999 squad won the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Region II trophy and participated in the national championships. Ramirez was also instrumental in establishing the women's soccer squad, now in its first year of conference play after several years as a club sport.

A 1981 graduate, as a player Ramirez scored 54 goals, 27 assists and 134 points, a record that stood until 1999. He appeared three times on the NAIA All-American list and was on the team that brought home the university's first NAIA District 3 championship in any sport. He was inducted into FPU Athletic Hall of Fame.

In the community, Ramirez has worked with city officials to set up soccer parks in Southeast Fresno and coaches in the Revolution youth soccer program. He, wife Laura Beth and their three children attend Butler Mennonite Brethren Church.

The dedication is part of FPU Homecoming festivities. Other activities include welcoming two former soccer standouts into the athletic hall of fame and men's and women's soccer games. Induction ceremonies for Ben Norton, who coached from 1974-89, and Pete Sena, who played from 1982-85, will be at 8 p.m. Friday, October 26, in Ashley Auditorium. Both soccer squads will play Westmont College on Saturday, Oct. 27, the women at 11:30 a.m. and the men at 2 p.m.

Schedules for the induction and dedication are:

Athletic Hall of Fame Induction

  • 8 p.m. Friday, October 26, 2001
  • Ashley Auditorium, McDonald Hall


  • Master of ceremonies Gary Nachtigall, athletic director
  • Invocation Max Steinert
  • Dessert buffet
  • Acknowledgments Gary Nachtigall
  • Hall of fame induction
  • Peter Sena Ben Norton or Jaime Ramirez
  • Ben Norton Ken Fox or Gary Nachtigall
  • Closing remarks Harold Haak, president


Ramirez Soccer Field Dedication

  • 1:45 p.m. Saturday, October 27, 2001


Max and Charlotte Steinert

  • Master of ceremonies Gary Nachtigall, athletic director
  • Invocation Bill Cockerham, faculty
  • Acknowledgments Mark Deffenbacher, vice president for advancement
  • Dedication Harold Haak, president
  • Ribbon Cutting Jaime and Laura Beth Ramirez
  • Closing Remarks Gary Nachtigall