Coy Ernest Ruple

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Visitation Schedule
Roller-McNutt Funeral Home
650 Central Landing Blvd.
Conway, AR  72032
Monday, June 17, 2024
10am to 11:00am
Memorial Contributions
Alzheimer's Association

Coy Ernest Ruple

of Bigelow, AR

October 27, 1945 - June 9, 2024

Coy ''Ernest" Ruple, age 78, of Bigelow, Arkansas passed away on June 9, 2024 at Conway Regional Medical Center. He was born October 27, 1945 in Faulkner County, Arkansas as the only son to the late Coy A. and Clara ''Jewell'' Ruple. Ernest grew up on a farm in Lollie, Arkansas with his parents and five sisters, their family winning Farm Family of the Year in Faulkner County in 1964.

Ernest was a beloved father, husband, brother, grandfather (Pa), coach, teacher and friend. He is survived by his wife, Carolyn; his two sons, Colby (Joy) and Adam (Erin); his four grandsons, Jake, Zack, River and Scout; his two step-daughters, Yolanda Camp, Stephanie Battiest and their children, Payton (Ryan) Loundy, Nikki Knight, Leslie Battiest, Samuel Battiest and 7 great-grandchildren; his sisters, Brenda Free, Jewell Dean Rowe and Leta (Andy) Ruple-Copeland and many nieces, nephews and cousins. He is preceded in death by his late sisters, Marie Coleman and Louise Stringer and his parents, Coy and Jewell. Ernest will be greatly missed by all of his extended family as well as many former students, players, teammates and friends.

Ernest graduated from Conway High School in 1963 where he was an all-state football player in 1962. He was also a standout on the track team where he set a school record in the discus while helping the Wampus Cats win the state championship in 1963. Ernest was inducted into the Wampus Cat Sports Hall of Fame in 2019.

After graduation he attended the University of Arkansas where he received an athletic scholarship to play on the Arkansas Razorback football team which included being a freshman on the 1964 National Championship team. In 1963, Arkansas head coach Frank Broyles called Ernest ''The best-looking big boy we've seen''. Ernest became a three-year letterman on the offensive line for the Hogs from 1965-1967. He helped the Razorbacks win the Southwest Conference title in 1965 and played in the 1966 Cotton Bowl.

A 1967 ''Sports Illustrated'' article states, ''The backs will all run behind Ernest Ruple, who is 6'5'' and 252 pounds of tackle-the only big man in Broyles' camp. Ruple is a relic of the glorious era, just ended, when Arkansas was both big and fast.'' That Senior season, Ernest was team captain and earned all-SWC honors. His outstanding play earned him invitations to the East-West Shrine Game and to the Senior Bowl.

After college graduation, Ernest was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2nd round of the 1968 NFL Draft as the 36th overall selection. He played two seasons for the Steelers before returning to his alma mater as an assistant football coach before being named head football coach of the Wampus Cats in 1975. His 1976 squad finished 9-3, winning the AAAA West Conference title.

Along with his on-field talents, Ernest spent many days and weekends of his adult life as an avid deer hunter at Roark Deer Camp in Hampton, Arkansas with many lifelong friends. He spent over 25 years in education as a teacher.

Ernest had an undeniable large presence in any room; however, those that loved him well knew his heart was just as big as he was. In true Ernest form, he continued to be tough as nails by leaving it all out on the field until the last snap. He has undoubtedly passed on his stubbornness, sarcasm, kindness and big heart to all of his children and grandchildren and many former students and players. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

Honorary pallbearers include Payton Loundy, Nikki Knight, Leslie Battiest, Samuel Battiest, Jake Ruple, Zack Ruple, River Ruple and Scout Ruple.

Visitation to be held at Roller-McNutt Funeral Home in Conway, Arkansas at 10:00 a.m. Monday, June 17, 2024. A private family-only graveside service will follow. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Alzheimer's Association at https://www.alz.org

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55 Condolence(s)
Pat May
Fort Worth, TX
Liked
Thursday, June 20, 2024

Proud to have played on the same Razorback offensive line with him in 1967. Always enjoyed his friendship off the field as well. He was a mountain of a man and always felt safe in his company. RIP "Big Earnie "

Tim Smithpeters
Perryville, AR
Liked
Tuesday, June 18, 2024

He was a great coach and guy. I had a lot respect for him.

Tammy Oates Ross
Conway, AR
Liked
Monday, June 17, 2024

My condolences to the family RIP coach

Debi Avra
Conway, AR
Liked
Monday, June 17, 2024

I am so sorry for your loss. Your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

gayle clark
Delray Beach, FL
Liked
Monday, June 17, 2024

I was so saddened to hear of Ernest's passing...I haven't spoke with him in years, but I was at Arkansas with him, and he was my big crush at college!
He was sweet and funny...and oh so clever and sarcastic!
I'm sure he will be missed by many, a life well lived, much beloved

Ronnie South
Chesterfield, VA
Liked
Monday, June 17, 2024

Ernie was a gentle giant, We roomed together for a while at Arkansas and became close friends. He was like a big brother to me and I will miss him very much.

Carol Stoltz Joyner
Conway, AR
Liked
Monday, June 17, 2024

There is no question that Ernest was a rare individual - noted for his large physique, great sense of humor, and innate generosity. I think I am more indebted to him than most.
In the summer of 1967 Ernest supervised a clean-up crew for the city of Conway. The laborers were Wampus Cat football players. Ernest singled out Bruce Joyner, telling him that if he would ask me out, Ernest would give Bruce an afternoon off.
The rest, as they say, is history. Thank you for the decades of happiness, Ernest!

Bobby Evans
Greenbrier, AR
Liked
Monday, June 17, 2024

RIP Coach, prayers to all the family.

Harold Comstock
Jonesboro, AR
Liked
Sunday, June 16, 2024

I am so sorry to hear that Earnest has passed away. He was a great friend to me and many, many others. We have done a lot of playing, trading and just ole time good fun. He will be missed. Prayers to all of his Family

Carol Stoltz Joyner
Conway, AR
Liked
Saturday, June 15, 2024

There is no question that Ernest was a rare individual - noted for his large physique, great sense of humor, and innate generosity. I think I am more indebted to him than most.
In the summer of 1967 Ernest supervised a clean-up crew for the city of Conway. The laborers were Wampus Cat football players. Ernest singled out Bruce Joyner, telling him that if he would ask me out, Ernest would give Bruce an afternoon off.
The rest, as they say, is history. Thank you for the decades of happiness, Ernest!

Dewitt H Smith
Ninety Six, SC
Liked
Saturday, June 15, 2024

I had the privilege of playing with Ernie on the 1967 UA football team and always respected his character. He was always bigger than life!

Mark Hurley
Oak Ridge, MO
Liked
Saturday, June 15, 2024

My High school Coach, mentor and friend. He will be missed

Dwight Dicus
Dover, AR
Liked
Friday, June 14, 2024

Coach Ruple was our leader as the Coach at Perryville Ar ! I was blessed to have played for him for two years! He taught us hard work, discipline, loyalty and humility! He would visit our home and my mother would cook us an old fashioned dinner, where he would he would share his life and accomplishments! I have been blessed in life with my wife … I contribute some of that to his leadership in life! I think and visit with other team members of his hard leadership! He will always be in my thoughts and memories! Love you Coach Ruple!!!

Sharron Havens Russell
Greenbrier, AR
Liked
Friday, June 14, 2024

Coach Ruple was the best. I had him in study hall and he was hard as nails but also soft too! I have some really funny memories. I am so sorry for your loss and prayer that God will comfort you during this time.

Webb Hubbell
Charlotte, NC
Liked
Friday, June 14, 2024

Ernie, was a great teammate, friend, and human being. He will be missed. Godspeed Ernie. W.

Vickie Lynn Payne
Conway, AR
Liked
Friday, June 14, 2024

So sorry for your loss will keep your family in my prayers you have my deepest sympathy.

Rick hawkins
Mt vernon, AR
Liked
Thursday, June 13, 2024

Coach Ruple was a dear friend and mentor to me in my coaching days with him. He took me under his wing coaching football and I will never forget his kindness

Jerrycase
Conway, AR
Liked
Thursday, June 13, 2024

So sorry tohear that coach passed .Used to run into him at time to time mostly at the coop sometimes at the Toad suck store My uncle Britt Dickens farmed in the lollie bottoms as well .I Think that's the first place I met him and followed his football career and went on to play for r him as a wampus cat on the 74,75,76 team he will be missed by many my prayers go out to the entire Ruple family.

Eddie Lunsford
Quitman, AR
Liked
Thursday, June 13, 2024

Coach Ruple, there's no way my thoughts can be put in words, he coined the term one of a kind in my book, such vivid memories of him from Junior High and High School, he will be missed on this Earth, touched so many students, prayers to the family and may he find peace

Y
Conway, AR
Liked
Thursday, June 13, 2024

RIP COACH!

Charlotte Troutman
Comway, AR
Liked
Wednesday, June 12, 2024

JewellDean, so sorry for your loss. He was definitely one of a kind. Prayers for all of you.

Joe Graham
Conway, AR
Liked
Wednesday, June 12, 2024

It was a alot of fun coaching with Ernest at CHS. He and I became good friends and shared plenty of laughs. He was always one of my favorite people. My God bless his family and give them peace.

Vance Strange
Conway, AR
Liked
Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Dear Ruple Family:
It is with deep sadness I write this to you all. Ernest has been a part of the Strange Family since 1960. His presence from San Francisco to Conway has been welcomed and forever appreciated.
He was one of a kind as a friend and Student Athlete. He will live forever in our hearts and memories.

Lisa Johnson Free and Ron Free
Conway, AR
Liked
Tuesday, June 11, 2024

So sorry for the loss of the Great Ernest Ruple, Ron and I both had him as a Teacher! Plus a great family Friend!
He will be missed! Love and prayers for the family during this difficult time!

Debbie (Purtle) Merritt
Pearland, TX
Liked
Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Leta, condolences and prayers for you and your family on the loss of Earnest. Jerry Merritt thought the world of him as all who knew him did. I pray that you and your family have peace over the loss of him.

Bill Hardin
Fayetteville, AR
Liked
Tuesday, June 11, 2024

My sincere condolences to Ernest’s family. As a team mate at CHS, I have only fond memories of actually being on the field and on the track with Ernest. A true competitor who never knew the word, “quit”. Peace

Luke Gordy
Hot Springs, AR
Liked
Tuesday, June 11, 2024

A truly remarkable athlete. An even better individual. Underneath his huge physical athletic presence, many people who didn’t know Ernest very well might be surprised to know he was a soft hearted, incredibly kind guy and supportive friend. Rest in peace, buddy.

Joyce Williams
Conway, AR
Liked
Tuesday, June 11, 2024

My prayers goes out to the Ruple family may God strengthen you all

Dean
Turner, FL
Liked
Tuesday, June 11, 2024

He is with Jesus now and I do look forward to joining him soon!

Beth Harvey Hercher
Cordova, TN
Liked
Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Bob Barham
Vilonia, AR
Liked
Tuesday, June 11, 2024

My deepest sympathy and prayers for Coach Ruple's family. He will be missed. He made an impact on a lot of people's lives, especially those he coached. He had a way of bringing us together to reach a common goal as a team. RIP Coach!

Judith Quinn
Inlet Beach, FL
Liked
Tuesday, June 11, 2024

So sorry for your loss. Ernie and my brother, Terry Starkey, were good friends. He sat at our dining table for many meals. Praying for your family

Sherry L Free
HAZEN, AR
Liked
Tuesday, June 11, 2024

To all the family -- We are so sorry for your loss -- Ernest will always be in our hearts. Sending hugs to you during this time.

Ashley Zulpo
Hattieville, AR
Liked
Monday, June 10, 2024

My Sweet Uncle Ernest You will definitely be missed.
Rest In Peace,,

David Howerton
Denison, TX
Liked
Monday, June 10, 2024

Coach Ruple holds a special place in dozens of lives of those who played for him. He taught us the value of hard work to reach our goals as a team. Always friendly and fun to be around and play for. A good leader and motivator. Blessings of peace and comfort to his family.

Karen Matthews
Conway, AR
Liked
Monday, June 10, 2024

I am so sorry to learn of Ernest's passing. He and Ronnie were such special friends! I can only imagine the reunion that Heaven must have seen! Please know that you all are in my thoughts and prayers.

Jerel Seay
Atascadero, CA
Liked
Monday, June 10, 2024

Praying that God will comfort Coach Ruple's family during this time. No matter the challenge or situation, he was able to instill a confident attitude within you.

Dale and Diane Williams
Conway, AR
Liked
Monday, June 10, 2024

So sorry to hear about Ernest passing. Dale loved talking Razorback football with him. Praying for your family.

Judi Hawks Cardin
Conway, AR
Liked
Monday, June 10, 2024

So very sorry to hear about Ernest.
I’ve known him since high school days. We wouldn’t see each other for years then run into each other and just pick up a conversation and enjoy the moment. He was a great guy and a good friend. Prayers for the family.

Rhonda Swope
N Little Rock, AR
Liked
Monday, June 10, 2024

Best coach ever! R.I.P. sending love to everyone.

Lignetics Inc
Cascade Locks, OR
Liked
Monday, June 10, 2024

Sending love, thoughts, and prayers to you and your family as you navigate this difficult time.

Cecille Boyd
CabotErnest, AR
Liked
Monday, June 10, 2024

Ernest and David were very good friends. They would always hit each other and finally decided to quit doing that. They cut lots of firewood out of one tree. We also got a puppy( blood Hound) from Him and named him Ernest. Guess the last time David called him was after his hospital stay. I’m sure they are remembering all the great times they share. Praying for all the family.

Diane Hood
Bigelow, AR
Liked
Monday, June 10, 2024

Beautiful man with a beautiful heart and a beautiful soul. Always kind and always friendly. He gave my daughter our first Wennie dog and we have been in love with them ever since. Prayers for your family. You will be missed but never forgotten.

Annette Ticey
Sherwood, AR
Liked
Monday, June 10, 2024

My sincere condolences to the family.RIP Coach Ruple

Darrel Reedy
Conqay, AR
Liked
Monday, June 10, 2024

I Am so sorey to hear about Big Earn Good Guy and Good Frind

David Wood
Little Rock, AR
Liked
Monday, June 10, 2024

Prayers for Coach Ruple’s family. I loved playing for Coach Ruple as a Wampus Cat. Besides my dad Coach Ruple was so influential in my life! Rest in Peace Coach Ruple!

Kenneth Hood
Bigelow, AR
Liked
Monday, June 10, 2024

Deepest condolences to the family for your loss, I will always remember the good times we had over the years, and he was a great friend and neighbor. You will truly be missed!

Mark Scott
Utila,
Liked
Monday, June 10, 2024

Coach Ruple had such a positive impact on our young lives. Blessings for him and his family.

Skeet Morse
Conway, AR
Liked
Monday, June 10, 2024

So sorry. We started our friendship in the first grade.

Charles H Kirkland III
Shreveport, LA
Liked
Monday, June 10, 2024

Sincerest condolences for your loss. My prayers are with you and yours....

Tonya Moix
Toad Suck, AR
Liked
Monday, June 10, 2024

Leta and family,
We are so sorry for the loss of Ernest. Hold onto the wonderful memories you have. Praying for all of you, family and friends, in the days ahead.
Kevin and Tonya and family

Richard Pearson
Conway, AR
Liked
Sunday, June 9, 2024

To all the family I’m so sorry for y’all’s loss. I always called him big daddy I’ll sure miss him he was a dandy for sure.

Richard Pearson
Conway, AR
Liked
Sunday, June 9, 2024

To all the family I’m so sorry for y’all’s loss. I always called him big daddy I’ll sure miss him he was a dandy for sure.

Skeet Morse
Conway, AR
Liked
Sunday, June 9, 2024

So sorry. We started our friendship in the first grade.

Sandy Moore Weaver
Coconut Creek, FL
Liked
Sunday, June 9, 2024

Coach Ruple was one of my favorite teachers at Conway High. Sending prayers to his family and friends. God bless.