Cyprus High’s First Football Coach Who Is Deaf: ‘We Can Do Everything Except Hear’
MAGNA, Utah – High school football season is in full swing. It’s already a historic season, and a new Cyprus High School football coach is setting records.
Dante Ramirez is the team’s first coach who is deaf.
“Deafness to me is power,” he said. “Deafness is proof that we have the power to overcome.”
Ramirez joined Cyprus after being a freshman coach last year at Cedar Valley High School. He faced adversity trying to find his next position prior to landing the position with Cyprus.
Ramirez applied to 12 football coaching positions and 14 lacrosse coaching positions. He got four interviews for football and was denied each spot. He said he almost had a volunteer lacrosse coach position within the Jordan School District, but conversations went cold when he requested an interpreter.
The Americans with Disabilities Act states any state or local government agency, business or nonprofit that serves the community must provide effective ways of communication for people with disabilities.
Ramirez’s wife, Sheri, said it was a difficult process to watch her husband go through.
“I will never understand what it is like to have someone constantly reject me,” she said. “As a deaf person, he is resilient.”
It worked out in the end.
Ramirez’s newfound football family at Cyprus couldn’t be happier to have him and his interpreters around. Ramirez works alongside his interpreter, and that is how he communicates with the players.
“Oh yeah, he knows what he is talking about,” senior football player Kari Butler said. “He is not afraid to step in and tell us what we did wrong.”
Head Coach Richard Garcia said he’s enjoyed seeing the way players, coaches, and himself are learning from Ramirez outside of the game. He said Ramirez has a better eye for situations and is even-keeled, allowing himself to remove intense emotions that often times arise during the sport.
“It’s good because it’s allowing us to learn how to communicate differently,” Garcia said. “Actually, it makes us all better coaches.”
Ramirez played football in high school and then went on to play lacrosse at Utah Valley University. His love for football never faded and has only increased with coaching. The longtime Brigham Young University football fan said he hopes to one day be coaching at the collegiate level.
“We can do anything except hear,” Ramirez said, “and that’s not a problem. Most of us understand that.”
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