Coach. Teacher. Mentor. Father. Husband. Grandfather. Friend.
Shelby Rumfield all of those and more.
He was born on January 25, 1947 in Temple to Shelby and Leta Rumfield.
A multisport athlete, Rumfield was a fullback on the football team, forward on the basketball team, and played multiple positions for the baseball team. Well-liked amongst his peers, Rumfield was Mr. BHS back in 1965.
Rumfield played football and attended Howard Payne University in Brownwood.
Rumfield is survived by loving wife of 53 years, Laverne, and sons Shane, Toby, and Brock.
I met Coach Rumfield back in 1986 when I worked at old Griggs Field as a public address announcer and official scorekeeper. Always quick-witted and friendly, Rumfield was fiercely supportive of his sons, Shane, Brock, and Toby. Shane was a classmate, Toby was a few years behind starting to make a name for himself at Continental Field, and I had the honor of covering Brock’s 10U baseball days, as he was part of the 1994 Class 4A Baseball State Championship team.
He was never short on stories about Belton or his days in Brownwood at Howard Payne. Whether you were a coach, media, a helper, a player or a student, Rumfield always had the time for you.
“Coach Rumfield had a great way of treating me and others with respect and dignity no matter how I acted or performed in the weight room or on the football field,” Steven Oglesby said. “I wasn’t a tremendous athlete but he treated me the same as my fellow teammates. He had a great sense of humor and was a wonderful leader. I skipped weights one time and he had told me that “not only are you hurting yourself you are hurting teammates.” And that left an everlasting impact on me that I still use today. Shortcuts will not get you anywhere. When I seen him years later he never forgot my name and that meant a lot to me. Even if he just called me by my last name ‘Oglesby’.”
“I will never forget when you run into him,” Stephen Washburn said. “He’d stick his hand out put his had on your shoulder, saying with that laughing and smiling, and would say, ‘what are you doing?’ First day as a student or first day as a player, under him he invested, cared in you even after we graduate and had families of our own. I hope my son grows up to be half the man coach was. The world is a lesser place without him.”
“Coach, I met him when my son was in middle school. Basketball season came around and I asked what the three teams do for supper traveling around to road games,” Woody Durbin said. “Well, he set me straight, can’t be provided, sack lunches had to be brought by players if they wanted to eat. I volunteered to get pizzas and waters, $3 per player and I would deliver them to the games and set up serving area. It was great until I was asked to do books. Oh man, I am not quick enough to watch, record and keep up. It was a great two years and had a lot of fun. Kids enjoyed a meal after the game. Coach Rumfield and T were awesome and the kids were great. Once at Copperas Cove, RG III (Robert Griffin III) asked me what was up, I told him road trip meals, he smiled and said awesome, kind of you to do. Take a slice RG. His presence even in 8th grade was caring and friendly. Most recently, helping him at Ace Hardware or running into Coach around town, he always made time to stop and visit, even if only a few minutes. He was a great listener and advisor for all of his years, I thank him for all he has given to BISD and Belton.”
He was a teacher for the Temple and Belton Independent School Districts. During many summers of 33 years with Belton ISD, Rumfield worked for the Corps of Engineers, patrolling Lake Belton and Stillhouse Hollow Lake as a Park Ranger. He was a fisherman and impacted lives, both on and off the water.
“I was Shelby’s Park Ranger patrol partner for many years with the Army Corps of Engineers,” Juan Mata said. “I considered him my best friend. We put our lives on the line together day and night and we also had some of the best times of our lives together. For those that know me, Shelby was my favorite person in the world. As I have mentioned before, Shelby and I shared secrets like girlfriends in high school and we could never stop laughing together.”
Mata never took Rumfield for granted, as he credited him for his career successes.
“One thing that Shelby told me that always stuck with me is, ‘I can teach you everything I know in five minutes,’” Mata said. “I am successful in my life and career because of Shelby. Most of all I learned how to be a man of the community in different ways without needing publicity.”
Rumfield made impacts away from the field as an educator as well.
“Coach Rumfield was an amazing history teacher and mentor,” Maria Nieves said. “He knew when we were having a bad day or something was bothering us . He always found the right words to say. Other than being an awesome teacher, my favorite part of been in his class was when he would give us an open book quiz or an open book test. I don’t ever remember him yelling at us in class. Even after high school life, every time I would run into him, he took the time to say hi and asked how I was doing. God bless his soul and may he Rest In Peace. Many prayers for his family and friends.”
“Coach Rumfield and my mother, Shelia Gaines, were at BHS teaching together for a longtime and Coach Rumfield was one of my favorite teachers of all time,” Ailehs Gaines said. “I had him for history at Belton High School. He taught History with no pressure at all and there wasn’t one person that I know that didn’t love his class. He definitely took a lot of stress off me as his favorite student of all time. His son Brock and I are both class of 1994 at Belton High School. So throughout school both of them were part of my early life journey. Brock reminds me so much of Coach Rumfield! After graduating high school in ’94, my family opened Lakeshore Store & Baithouse on Highway 36 in Temple and I would get to see Coach Rumfield several times a week while he was working for the Corps of Engineers. Time passed and I didn’t see him as often but then Yummy Rummy’s opened and it happened to be my daughter Lucy Liu’s favorite place to go. Once again, I was blessed with his presence. At that time, I met his beautiful wife LaVerne and his amazing daughter in law, Kari, to whom is married to Toby Rumfield. An awesome family I must say! Coach Rumfield always had a smile on his face and he’s definitely a presence that I’m going to miss. He definitely left his mark on me and I’m so happy that he was part of my life. He never complained about a thing and it was an honor knowing him. Rest easy Coach Rumfield. Much love for him and his family.”
Ever the hard worker, Rumfield also put in a great deal of work in the family business at Yummy Rummy’s, which was open for a couple of years over on Lake Road. His craftsmanship was evident in the flooring, shelving and countertops.
The funeral services were at First Baptist Church in Beltont this past with Pastor Craig Pearson and Charlie Robinson officiating the service. Crotty Funeral Home & Cremation Services were entrusted with the arrangements of the ceremony.
One of the Old Tigers has joined the team looking upon us from upon high. We can only imagine the stories being traded. We will miss you, Coach Shelby Rumfield.