SARASOTA (Fla.) – Friends and colleagues at Riverview High School called him “The Ripper.”
However, Ed Repulski was only the child of Jill Strafaci, a Ram student who often saw her father walking through Riverview’s hallways. She said, “But I couldn’t shout, ‘hey dad’ down every hallway,” “So, I named him Ace.”
Ace was all heart when it came to Ed Repulski’s school, who was also the first athletic director and first basketball coach. He was also the founder of the Ram golf club.
Joyce, Joyce’s wife, stated that “His blood was the color of Riverview” in a 2018 Repulski story. He loved the school and today, the loyalty he showed for it is non-existent.
The school that Ed Repulski loved today is in deep mourning. At 93, the man who coached Ram boys for almost 40 years and won over 600 matches, passed away peacefully at his assisted living home.
John Sprague was shocked to hear about Repulski’s death. He had replaced him in 2011 as Riverview boys’ golf coach. Repulski was visited by Sprague two months ago. He said that his mind was clear and he could recall people and places. Sprague stated, “I was shocked.” He was very sharp. Riverview was a great place to spend thousands of hours with him. It was great to have the opportunity to chat with him.
“Mr. Ram. Ram was present at Riverview’s opening.
Repulski was hired by Ed Brown, the school principal, to coach football and serve his role as athletic director. Repulski arrived in Sarasota on May 5, 1958. His basketball and football teams failed to thrive, but the golf program that he started grew and prospered under his leadership.
Repulski’s leadership, the Ram boys won two titles, two runners up, and 12 district crowns. Repulski got Jill interested in golf and was able to offer a scholarship to Florida for her. Strafaci was a letter-winner on Florida’s Lady Gator golf team for four years. Tyler, Tyler’s son, is a professional golfer who won the U.S. Open in 2020. Amateur Championship.
Repulski was passionate about golf and it shows in his dedication to the sport. Repulski was three-time Florida Golf Coach of Year and won three times the District Golf Coach of Year award from the National High School Athletics Coaches Association.
He was the state golf chairman of the Florida Athletic Coaches Association for 16 years and was inducted into FACA Hall Of Fame in 1990.
Sprague stated that when the Florida High School Activities Association was having a question about golf they didn’t consult a book. Repulski was consulted. Bent Tree Golf Course hosted the state tournament. Why? “Because he did a fantastic job,” Sprague stated. He organized them.”
Repulski was an FHSAA official for basketball, football, and baseball. Strafaci stated that it was common for her homework to be done in the stands while her father officiated basketball games. He was able to leave coaching and teaching for one year to join Riverview’s administration. He was only there for one year.
Strafaci stated that her father’s legacy is simple. She said, “The children.” He said that the children were very important to him.
As Ed Repulski was for them.