Although his summer basketball season is over, we caught up with head coach Rick Rasmussen to ask him a few random questions so Newton County to get to know one of its heralded coaches.
The Covington News: What means the most to you in your profession?
Rick Rasmussen: I think making a difference in kids’ lives is the reason you become a teacher and a coach. Try to make an impact and try to lead by example and help them to reach their goals, get an education and do something they love in regards to basketball.
CN: Do you have any personal goals for your students and players?
Rasmussen: I always try to encourage the kids that I impact to want to go to college. College isn’t for every kid, but we love to see the kids in our program go to college if they want to and have that opportunity. I’ve really studied all the different levels of colleges. From a technical school to a university we really love to see our kids go to college and be able to change their lives. Also, our players, we try to get as many an opportunities to continue playing basketball if they want to as well.
CN: Do you have a favorite professional team in basketball?
Rasmussen: Even before the Spurs won. I really like the Spurs because of the way they play. We really try to encourage team-first and selflessness, and they’ve always been a team that’s selfless. I think Greg Popovich encourages that. I’m also a big OKC fan because being from Seattle originally, they’re the only thing left of the Sonics. They drafted Kevin Durant and Nick Collison, they’re the only players left. The Sonics are no more and OKC is all we’ve got left.
CN: What’s your favorite movie?
Rasmussen: I’d say ‘Hoosiers’ first, and ‘Glory, Road’ second. Glory Road is a great one. That probably is the more impactful movie. I think its got a lot of great things about overcoming barriers and it’s a great movie.
CN: What’s something about you that nobody knows, not even your players?
Rasmussen: I don’t really think there is anything. I don’t know if everybody knows, I try to tell them, but I was born in Michigan. My dad was in the Navy so we actually grew up in Washington state. So I think most of my students and players know that I went to Washington State University then UGA. You know golf is my hobby. I think they know that enough, because I’ve been a club champion at the Oaks before. I was club champion in 2010. I’m about a three handicap. I took Stephen Croone, Derrick Henry and Rashard Cabane to the driving range about a month ago and they really hacked it up bad (he laughed). I’m too old to do much else.
CN: Other than golf, what do you do in your spare time?
Rasmussen: We spend time traveling as a family, and just spend family time. My wife is a teacher also, so we hope that our schedules line up. My wife’s whole family is from Covington. My wife graduated from Newton in 1993, all of her family went to Newton, so I’ve married into blue and white. Now of course being at Newton for 17 years, I’ve been a Ram longer than all of them. It’s a real family love. We’re Newton blue and white through and through. I’ve got two daughters 13 and seven, we travel and my dad has prostate cancer and its terminal, so we’ve been seeing him a lot as much as we can. My parents live in Washington state. We travel in the summer and I don’t go anywhere for four or five months during the season.
CN: I’m sorry to hear that about your father.
Rasmussen: It’s alright. He’s fighting it. He’s had it for about six years now and he’s getting toward the end. I got two great parents I’m very blessed to have and thankful for. They’ll be married for 50 years in August. That’s really neat. We spend time with him as much as we can.
Rasmussen mentioned that his faith in God is the most important thing to him and that’s what led him to be a teacher/coach.