Jerald "Jerry" Ratzburg
November 24th, 1969- December 25th 2019
Jerald A. “Jerry” Ratzburg
The below was written with love and respect from Jerry’s long time friend and assistant coach Andy Whirrett.
Coached 6 years at Ascension: Record 70-71
Coached 12 years at St. Paul's: Record 328-92
Overall: 398-163 for a .709 winning percentage
LSAA: Won the LSAA City Championship a record 7 times, including a record 5 in a row from 2011-2015, as well as 2018 and 2019.
ILSAA: Won the ILSAA State Championship 6 times, including winning 4 of the first 5, and 6 of the 9 tournaments. The Bears won in 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2018, and 2019.
LBAA: Won the LBAA National Tournament in 2014, 2015, and 2019, and was invited to appear there with a team 10 times, including once at Ascension in 2007, and the last 9 years in a row at St. Paul's. Jerry’s teams placed in the final four at Nationals in 6 of his 9 appearances while at St. Paul's. The Bears placed 3rd twice, 4th once, and 5th once as well as consolation runner-up under Jerry's leadership. In years when his team did not appear, Jerry was a faithful and dedicated volunteer for the LBAA.
In 2013, the Bears won the Mel Doering Team Sportsmanship award at Nationals, which out of all the championships and personal awards, was the award Jerry was most proud of. Sportsmanship was most important to Jerry on the court.
Jerry won the first ever Tom Schultze Memorial Coaching Leadership Award at the LBAA Tournament in 2015, the highest coaching honor given in Lutheran Basketball.
Jerry taught all of his players to live by the following priorities, 1. God is first. 2. Family second. 3. School third and 4. Basketball comes after that. His teams always attended church together on tournament Sunday game-days, and good grades were a priority over playing. When first meeting him, some thought he was a bit ill-tempered.... and they weren't always wrong! But when you got to know him, you found out he cared deeply about family, friends, his players, coaching, and had a deep faith in God... and would do anything to help a person in need. The St. Paul's family as well as LSAA, ILSAA, and LBAA families will greatly miss Coach Ratzburg.
The 2019-20 LSAA City Basketball Tournament will be held in Jerry’s Memory.