NC State Selects First-Ever Hall of Fame Class | Complete Bios
RALEIGH, N.C. - The career and accomplishments of NC State Hall of Athletic Fame inductee Tab Ramos are another glowing example of the University’s mission as a global educational institution.
At 5-foot-7 and 140 pounds, Ramos has been heralded as one of the most talented players to ever put on a Men’s National Team kit.
“Tab Ramos was ahead of his time,” noted Alexi Lalas, a former teammate and current ESPN commentator. “His first step was the stuff of legends. His touch was delicate and poetic and the power he generated from such a small frame was nuclear.”
Born as Tabare Ramos Ricciardi in Montevideo, Uruguay on September 21, 1966, he became known as Tab Ramos when his parents moved to the United States in 1977.
The future three-time All-America midfielder became an official United States citizen in 1982 prior to his entrance to NC State in 1984.
Ramos’ interest in soccer was cultivated at an early age. His father played professionally for 13 seasons in Uruguay before the family moved to New Jersey. There he attended Saint Benedict’s Preparatory School and played club soccer along with one of his childhood friends -- John Harkes.
Both Ramos and Harkes were inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame in 2005.
“The Hall of Fame is so far beyond anything you can dream about that to say that I had a dream about this would be an outright lie,” said. Ramos
Being elected to the NC State Hall of Athletic Fame is also an honor that falls right in line with his distinguished collegiate, Olympic and professional career. And it hits his heart because of his allegiance to NC State.
Ramos is a die-hard Wolfpack alum and visits the campus and new facility as much as possible when he’s not traveling the world with his soccer connections.
“I always follow the Wolfpack and all the other sports. I love the Wolfpack,“ he told Tim Peeler in an exclusive interview. “Even though I am kind of far away, I am a big fan of everything NC State does.”
At age 15, Ramos entered national competition at the Under-20 level, and scored two goals in regional qualifying for the 1983 FIFA U-20 World Cup. The US went 0-2-1 and failed to qualify as a group.
At age 17, Ramos was cut from the 1984 US Olympic Team after the Olympic Committee allowed professionals to compete. But that disappointment didn’t stop Ramos from continuing to hone his skills.
At Saint Benedict’s, Ramos was Parade Magazine’s 1983 National Prep Player of the Year – leading the school to the New Jersey state championship. He scored 161 career goals at Saint Benedict’s and 57 during his senior year.
Ramos turned down an opportunity to play professional soccer in the now defunct North American Soccer League after being drafted 10th by the New York Cosmos. Instead he chose to attend State on scholarship en route to a brilliant collegiate career from 1984-87.
At State, Ramos shined – earning All-American honors in 1985, 86 and 87. He also was named first team All-ACC in 1985, ’86, and ’87. He was named to the All-ACC second team in 1984.
Ramos was named to the All-South team during his four seasons and was the most valuable player on the 1987 Pack squad which finished as runners-up in the first-ever ACC tournament.
The Wolfpack made four NCAA appearances during his illustrious collegiate career.
A team player, Ramos scored 104 career points (6th), 42 career assists (2nd) and 31 career goals (10th).
Another accolade for Ramos was being chosen as the 1990 US Soccer Federation Athlete of the Year.
He was a three-time member of the US World Cup Team in 1990, ’94 and ’98. All-in-all, he appeared in 81 games for the U.S.
Ramos was a major player in putting US Soccer on the national stage. He is delighted that those World Cup teams in the ‘90s propelled the US from being doormats to competitive squads.
He was named to the ACC’s 50th Men’s Soccer team and was the first player to sign a contract in the MLS, on January 3, 1995. Ramos participated in 121 games for the NY/NJ Metro Stars, 1996-2002.
Years after leaving NC State, Ramos earned his degree in Foreign Language (Spanish) and Literature between the times he left the University to compete nationally and professionally. He left in 1988 to compete in the Summer Olympics briefly and again in 1989 only to leave again for national competition.
After taking correspondence courses, Ramos procured his degree in 2001.
Ramos’ retirement ended a brilliant prep, collegiate and professional career. He then began an unbelievable jaunt in the promotion of American soccer.
The Tab Ramos Soccer Academy in Aberdeen, New Jersey, is fulfilling his dream of promoting youth soccer and ice hockey. It is an impressive facility and has received world-wide recognition.
His 55,000 square-foot building includes a hockey rink and a full-sized soccer field with artificial turf with a bar, lounge and arcade.
In addition, Ramos has enjoyed coaching his son Alex (17) and daughter Kristen (15) on youth teams.
The former prolific Wolfpacker has also been the head coach of the US Under-20 National Team.
“I’m now committed to being part of the progress for US Soccer going forward.”
Today, Ramos is a nationally-reknowned speaker and travels the U.S. and World promoting the sport he started playing as a kid in Montevideo, Uruguay.
By George Cox, GoPack.com