"On today Grambling mourns the loss of one of its greatest treasures," SGA President Martin Lemelle said in an opening speech Tues. "When one speaks of a man of char., dignity, and most of all service, the name Ricky B. McCall echoes in the air."
McCall died on Mar. 5 after a five-year battle with cancer.
Ricky McCall served eight years as the Head Athletic trainer of the GSU Sports program, succeeding "Doc" Harvey.
During his fifteen years at Grambling, he has made an irreplaceable impact on the campus.
"Ricky was a great person, a great individual that we loved dearly," said Coach David Ponton. "His legacy will live on through his trainers, through his kids, and through the memories that he left us."
At the memorial service on Mar. 15, many of the lives that McCall touched gathered in the T.H. Harris Auditorium to remember the good things of his life.
"Rick was a great inspiration to me as a player and as a coach," Coach Bo Bivens said. "He’s a great guy, and I love him to death. We are going to miss him."
McCall’s impact was not only felt by the coaches, but by the players as well.
"He always told me if I could go, go. Don’t try to hold out," said Brion Rush, guard for the basketball team. "Ricky kept me on my feet."
McCall’s bout with cancer never got him down.
"I’d call Ricky up and ask him how he’s doing, and he’d say, ‘Don’t worry about me; I’m fighting,’" Coach Larry Wright said in his speech Tuesday.
With such a loss to Grambling, it will be a while before someone can ever fill his shoes.
"Words can’t express what Ricky McCall meant to this university," Lance Wright said. "We are elated to know that he doesn’t have to fight anymore."
"Rick was truly by all means a gentleman," said Patty Taylor, assistant athletic trainer. "The life he led is what I can only hope to achieve. He definitely gave us all a blueprint to follow."
That blueprint has already began to be followed by several admirers of McCall’s work.
"I followed in [Ricky’s] footsteps," Otis Jones said. "He always said, ‘Don’t be like me, be better than me.’
"You’d have to do twice as much or three times as much to be better than him."
McCall has definitely made his contribution to the athletic program.
"Ricky has set the standard so high for our athletic program," said retired baseball coach Wilbert Ellis. "We’re going to have to make sure that stays in place.
"Ricky stood to be number one." McCall’s physical body may be gone, but his spirit and legacy lives on.
GSU has established a Ricky B. McCall Scholarship Fund to honor his name. For information on how to make donations, call (318) 274-6253.
With McCall, Coach Wright said it best.
"Ricky is Grambling, Grambling, Grambling."