TALLADEGA -- Will Ramos resigned as Talladega College’s athletic director and head baseball coach Sept. 29.

Ramos has accepted the role of athletic director at the University of the Virgin Islands in St. Thomas. Ramos, who spent eight years as the coach of the baseball team and seven seasons as athletic director for the Tornadoes, said it was a difficult decision to leave Talladega.

“About two weeks ago, this opportunity came about,” Ramos said. “It was an opportunity that I thought about a lot. Talladega, to me, was home, but my roots are in … the Caribbean, so I decided to take the opportunity and see where it takes me with my family…

“The last seven years, we won 19 conference titles. I worked very hard to leave (Talladega College) in a better place, and I believe I accomplished that.”

Ramos was named the Gulf Coast Atlantic Conference Athletic Director of the Year in 2016.

Under his leadership, the Talladega College athletic program has expanded from six to 13 sports. During his tenure, the student-athletes maintained a 3.0 grade-point average and had a graduation rate of 89 percent.

The men’s basketball team won back-to-back United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) National Championships in 2009-10. The women’s basketball team won the USCAA National Championship in 2010. Both programs advanced to the NAIA national tournament last season -- a feat that had never been accomplish in school history.  

The Tornadoes have had 12 NAIA All-Americans, 57 all-conference players and five athletes playing professional sports.

In eight seasons at helm, Ramos led the Tornadoes baseball team to a 216-188 record, including two regular-season conference titles and two conference tournament championships. In 2014, Ramos led Talladega College to a school-record 39 wins and its first berth into the NAIA World Series. The Tornadoes won 29 or more games five times during his tenure.

Ramos said he said addressed the team during a meeting last week to inform players of his decision.

“It was very short and emotional meeting,” Ramos said. “This wasn’t something that I was planning to happen. We recruited 32 players for this year and we only had four returners. I believed that we were going to have a very good team.

“It was very emotional and sad meeting for me, but I had to move on for the good of my family. The good thing that I left behind was that it was something more important than me, it was Talladega College.

“I think all of the players decided to stay there. The interim baseball coach is Marco Dominguez; assistant coach Hector Corona and volunteer coach Jose Marina Sosa. I hope that they can continue to build on the legacy that we left there. “

Ramos said he is grateful for the support he received from the administration, coaches and community while at Talladega College.

“First and foremost, I want to thank the community,” Ramos said.  “I believe all the success that we had over the last seven years was because of the community.

“I want to thank the alumni for the support that they gave baseball, basketball and all of the other sports. They were very excited and they were behind us. They would call me and tell me what their idea was or what their concern was—we would work to make it happen, and I believe that we did.

“I would like to thank the administration, starting with the president, (Dr. Billy Hawkins), and the Board of Trustees for giving me the opportunity to be the AD at Talladega College for seven years. I would like to thank Dr. Jacqueline Paddio, my former boss.  I would like to thank my new boss, Dr. Sharon Whittaker-Davis, and everybody that worked with me to make this happen.

“I am leaving with a heavy and sad heart, because I really loved working for Talladega College. I would also like to thank my wife and kids. I would like to thank all of my family for the sacrifices that were made.  

“I would like to thank my coaches: Coach (Matt) Cross, former coach Romeo (Lagmay), Coach (Kevin) Herod. I would like to thank all of the new coaches that we brought in. I thank them for making this the best athletic department in the NAIA.

“I really loved what I was doing there and everything that was happening. More importantly, I loved the community. I loved to see the community involved and coming to the games. That is going to be something that I will always remember.”

LaVonte Young is the Sports Editor for The Daily Home. Contact him at lyoung@dailyhome.com or follow him on Twitter @LYoung_DHSports.