Coach Ronald Cheatham Death – Dead | Obituary – Passed Away
Ronald Cheatham Death – Dead: A great loss was made known to InsideEko. As friends and families of the deceased are mourning the passing of their loved and cherished Ronald Cheatham.
Having heard about this great loss, the family of this individual is passing through pains, mourning the unexpected passing of their beloved.
This departure was confirmed through social media posts made by Twitter users who pour out tributes, and condolences to the family of the deceased.
Former Wenonah football coach Ronald Cheatham dies: Among his former players are Quinnen Williams, who played for Alabama and is currently playing for the New York Jets; Sam Shade a former Crimson … #GangGreen #NFLNews
Legendary Wenonah football coach Ronald Cheatham reminisced about his football career over lunch with me in early June 2019.
He talked wistfully about playing and coaching at Southern Miss and shared how his father’s death helped bring him home to Birmingham, where he became a pillar of the community as the longtime football coach at Wenonah. He beamed with pride about his team’s run to the 2016 AHSAA Class 5A championship game.
What I remember most from the conversation – ironically, it’s also what didn’t make it into the story I wrote – is his amazing story of how and when he decided to give up playing football and embark on a coaching career.
A senior linebacker at Southern Miss in the 1970s, Cheatham remembered returning from class to find three Jackson State players – Walter Payton, Jackie Slater and Robert Brazile — sitting on his couch because Payton was friends with his roommate.
Here’s part of the conversation he remembered:
“So, big man, what position do you play,” Cheatham asked the 6-foot-4, 240-pound Brazil. “You a lineman?”
“No, man, I play linebacker,” Brazile replied.
“A linebacker? How fast are you?” Cheatham asked.
“I run a 4.6,” Brazile countered.
Cheatham – sitting at lunch more than 40 years later – laughed at the memory. And he paused before letting me in on the secret.
“Robert Brazile is the reason I became a coach,” he said, “because I figured everybody in the NFL who played linebacker was going to look like that. And I didn’t. That big and that fast? I had to be a coach.”
Of course, everybody in the NFL didn’t look like Brazile, a Pro Football Hall of Famer who earned the nickname “Dr. Doom.” A pass-rushing linebacker, Brazile revolutionized pro football and became the prototype for future pass rushers, paving the way for Lawrence Taylor and Derrick Thomas and others to wreak havoc as an outside linebacker.
Cheatham, meanwhile, became the first African-American assistant football coach at a predominantly white college in Mississippi when he joined the Southern Miss coaching staff immediately after graduating.
Cheatham returned to his hometown in 1989 as the head coach at Wenonah and stayed through 2018, making 18 playoff appearances, enjoying five 10-win seasons and leading the Dragons to the AHSAA Class 5A title game in 2016.
Along the way, Wenonah graduates Sam Shade, Alonzo Ephriam, Joe Webb and Quinnen Williams made it to the NFL. Plenty of others played college football.
More importantly, he mentored young people from disadvantaged neighborhoods like Powderly and Tarpley City or the Kimbrough Homes public housing development across the street from the school. He taught more than blocking and tackling during his 30 years at the school.
Cheatham’s teams always played with a trademark gritty toughness, no doubt a reflection of the Dragon’s longtime head coach.
“Football is one of those games that’s hot, it’s 100 degrees outside (in the summer),” he told me during that lunch in 2019.
“We know we’re going to be out there at 3 o’clock in the afternoon. Two things I knew we had to do — we had to condition like hell because it’s not like we had back-ups and we had to be physical. And we had to make sure our first 20-something kids stayed in the weight room.
“So, we pressed the weights and we pressed the work. The kids that stayed with us, they won for us. That’s the bottom line.”
Work leads to winning. That’s a good lesson for all of us to remember.
Wenonah’s Ronald Cheatham loved his players, he loved his hometown and he loved the game he used to teach scores of teens life lessons.
That’s a wonderful legacy – all thanks to Dr. Doom himself, Robert Brazile
This is what I thought about today when I learned of Coach’s passing.
We join the Wenonah High School and Birmingham City Schools communities in mourning former Wenonah Football Coach Ronald Cheatham. Here’s a picture of HWCV Partner Carter Clay, Coach Cheatham, and a few Wenonah players in 2017. Coach Cheatham truly cared about his team and players.
“A coach is someone who tells you what you don’t want to hear, who has you see what you don’t want to see, so that you can be who you have always known you could be.” -Tom Landry
“A good coach improves your game. A great coach improves your life.” -Michael Josephson
Our world has loss several great African American men lately & sadly I add my high school football coach to that list. Ronald Cheatham was the head football coach for Wenonah High School from 1989-2019. But more than a coach, he was instrumental in mentoring & helping over 100+ young men attain athletic scholarships to attend college over his 30yrs of coaching. More than that he exemplified sacrifice & love for every young man he coached. Picking players up for practice, dropping them off, checking in w/ teachers, discipline football style when caught being out of line at school or at home and not to mention the countless hours of conversations about life & becoming responsible men. Aside from his wife and only son, he leaves a #LEGACY of many sons that are better men to this day because he not only coached us but LOVED us. Love you Coach, rest easy. #Dragon4Life #20Trap #Homes
We are still working on getting more details about the death, as a family statement on the death is yet to be released.