We Celebrate the Life of Coach Ron L. Finley

Coach Ron Finley

Today, we lost a great man, leader, husband, father, mentor and coach. A former University of Oregon Wrestling Alumni, Hank Hosfield summed up Coach Finley’s character today, after finding out about Coach’s passing…

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“Dear Ron,

I’ve been lucky to know you most of my life.

I was first introduced to you through Jim McIrvin, one of your wrestlers who lived next door to the Gallups, who had the biggest backyard playing field in the neighborhood, and whose oldest son David was the first guy who told me I was going be a wrestler. Jim and David playfully worked me over. Jim hooked me up with a couple t-shirts from the USWF Greco-Roman championships from you and also got me a gig selling programs at the Oregon wrestling meets. I think I was in 8th grade by then. Anyway, it was such a thrill to meet you and to work for you. I liked you so much right away, I hoped maybe someday you’d be my coach.

You’ve got to see me grow up from the 48 KG high schooler. You welcomed me into your room long before I would do your program any good. You hung with me through my struggles, through injury and disappointment and the hard journey to find one’s direction. At times, you were like a second father.

You taught me many valuable things—much by example. You’re always eager to volunteer and give back. Your positivity is infectious. Your competitive spirit rivals any. And your heart is boundless.

This life we’re given is for helping each other through—learning, teaching and loving. You’ve done your bit and more.

We had a lot of fun, including victories, and challenges, and enduring friendship. I carry so many wonderful memories in which you played a part.

I don’t want to say goodbye to you. But if we must give you back to the universe, know that I believe you are embarking on the next stage of an amazing journey, and what is unfinished here is only for us. And like you, I still have Zero Quit.

My heart feels very full. You helped fill it and will forever have a place in it. It’s love you gave, and love I will continue to share with others.

I love you, Ron. Everyone loves you.

I’m profoundly grateful for you.

You are stardust. You are golden.”

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by Hank Hosfield, UO Wrestling Alumni, Class of 1981

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