Curt Kramme named to football Hall of Fame

Curt Kramme named to football Hall of Fame
Posted on 01/24/2017
As Curt Kramme stood, waving to the cheering crowd of 2,800 inside Lynden High School’s The Jake ahead of the start of the Lynden v. Lynden Christian Coaches vs. Cancer boys basketball game in January, the standing ovation he received was the crowd’s way of encouraging him through his battle with a rare form of bladder cancer. But it was also a giant all-town thank you for the long-time LHS football coach about to be inducted into Washington State Coaches Association Football Hall of Fame.

The induction ceremony set for Saturday, Jan. 28, in Seatac, puts Kramme’s 26 seasons as the head of the Lions at center stage, along with his 248-61 record—the fourth most wins of any active coach in the state and ninth all time—and seven state titles. And while Kramme’s program will forever remain cloaked in the limelight, Kramme the man doesn’t enjoy all the attention.

“I don’t really care to talk about it a whole lot because it is something that has my name on it, but there are so many people involved,” he says about the Hall of Fame award. “It was the players and other coaches that have helped me achieve this award and I don’t like to accept it as a personal award. I consider the award a program award, but obviously I do my part in that as well and I am extremely honored to receive such recognition. It is very humbling.”

Kramme says he was hoping the recognition wouldn’t come until his career ended, but he’ll step outside his comfort zone to give a speech at the event, making sure to put a focus on what has been important to him since stepping onto the Lynden field in 1991.

“The championships were nice, but it is the relationships with the players and coaches that I find rewarding,” he says. “Everyone wants to win championships and those are fun, but it is the day to day that I have enjoyed over the years.”

Often coaches say that getting named to a Hall of Fame allows for a time to reflect back on a career. As Kramme has dealt with a difficult form of cancer for about a year now, he says a lot of people have been contacting him from the years gone by for a while, something he greatly appreciates.

A key phrase Kramme has promoted at Lynden—something he says he learned from the Prosser program—is the “setback, comeback” mantra. “We are all going to have setbacks and if we want to have success it can’t be a setback, you have got to comeback,” he says. “I stole that in the late ‘90s and it was very meaningful to me. It takes a very in-depth concept and simplifies it down into very few words.”

But to accompany the “setback comeback” mentality comes the old cliché that hard work pays off, something Kramme promotes throughout the football team or in weight training classes he teaches at the high school. “We have had multiple examples of that over the course of Lynden since I took over 25 years ago,” he says.

And it never ends, especially now as football players stay involved in offseason workouts. “It keeps them motivated realizing what they are doing now will help them in September,” Kramme says.

As Kramme’s players continue to prepare for next fall, so does Kramme. He’s always planning for the next season. “It is never ending for me,” he says. “I just hope my health allows me to go on.”