Former Blanchester High School football players said George Rise taught them more about life than he did about football.
To this day, they are grateful and will never forget their former head coach.
Rise passed away Wednesday night. He was 75.
“George always knew how to push you as a player to be better,” said Ryan Goldie, who earned four varsity letters for Rise at BHS and won the Lombardi Award in 2000. “He always demanded more and never accepted excuses. It wasn’t until later in life I realized how those lessons and experiences helped shape me in to the person I am today. I’m grateful to have played four years for such a great coach and even better person. We both shared one thing … beat Massie my senior year 44-0.”
Rise was the head coach at Blanchester from 1996 to 2004. Prior to BHS, Rise was the head coach at Goshen High School. As a head football coach for 32 years, George’s overall record was 204-85-5. His championship records include 10 Clermont County League and Fort Ancient Valley League titles as well as two Kenton Trace Conference championships at BHS.
He was the head coach for the victorious East All-Star Team in the Annual East/West All-Star Game in 1989.
”I was devastated when I heard of his passing,” said Bill Liermann, who covered Rise from a media standpoint then later worked with Rise through the Clinton County Vince Lombardi Down Lineman of the Year Award. “What a great man he was and an inspiring coach. He spoke a couple of times for our Lombardi Award banquet (most recently 2015) and really conveyed a great message. Quite a thrill for me when I was recognized for my years of service covering high school sports in 2001 and he presented me the award at UD (University of Dayton) Arena.”
At one point in his career, Rise nearly became head coach of the Wilmington High School football team. Chris Oliver and Dusty Goldie both left Wilmington and transferred to Blanchester to play for Rise — Oliver in 1997 and 1998 and Goldie in 1997.
“George had a tremendous impact on the lives of so many young people who he was able to mentor,” said Oliver, who is now the head football coach at NAIA powerhouse Lindsey Wilson University in Kentucky. “My appreciation for coach Rise has grown over the years as I’ve come to realize the influence he had on me and my teammates. He was tough, demanding and he would put his arm around you when the time called for it.”
Goldie played one year for Rise at BHS but his affection lasted a lifetime.
”I left Wilmington to come back to play for him,” said Goldie. “Coach Rise was a fierce coach. He made you better by pushing you to limits you had never been vefore. His biggest impact was what he did for you after you played for him. He gave me my first teaching job at Blanchester and he always looked out for me when I went to Kings. I will forever be grateful for him and his influence.”
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, via email firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @wnjsports.