Ruml reaches milestone: 100 football victories

PAT RUML addresses his players during halftime of the Howard-Chester game earlier this season. Howard football coach Ruml hit a milestone in his career as he recorded his 100th victory on Sept. 11.

When the Howard Tigers beat the Canistota-Freeman Pride 16-14 in triple overtime on Sept. 11, Howard's Pat Ruml hit a milestone in his coaching career.

This was the 100th win for Ruml. He has added two more wins since then to push his win total to 102.

Most of his wins have come at Howard; however, his first win came while he was coaching at McCook Central. He believes it might have been against Canistota/Montrose in 1998.

Before becoming a head football coach, Ruml served as an assistant coach at Dakota Valley, Waverly-South Shore and Stickney-Mt. Vernon.

He has been a head coach in Howard for 13 years since 2008 after taking over for Chad Stadem.

While playing football for Stickney-Mt. Vernon, Ruml's own coaches were a big influence on him.

"Myron Steffen and Dave Selchert were big influences on me while I was young," he said.

Ruml played in four championship games and has coached in five championship games, winning two titles; he was an assistant coach for another championship.

Ruml is quick to say his success is the direct result of commitment by his assistant coaches and the athletes.

"My assistant coaches have played a huge role in the success of the teams," Ruml said. "We have a consistent program with the coaches and kids knowing what they need to do to be successful."

Another key to the Howard Tigers' success is the lifting program the students follow during the summer.

"The kids lift during the summer program faithfully," Ruml said.

To reach 100 victories is not a small task. There are fewer chances to hit that milestone because a regular season only has eight games.

"The goal for the Tigers each year is simple: to win the state title," Ruml said.