Ron Scarcello 1933-2020
Ryerson University Athletics Hall of Fame Athlete & Coach
With many great memories, members of the Ryerson Rams men’s hockey teams from 1953 to 1964 and the entire RRHA community regretfully announce the passing of one of our most respected players and coaches, Ron Scarcello on March 16, 2020.
As a player, Ron came to Ryerson after a junior career in the Boston Bruins farm system and led the Rams to three consecutive Central Ontario Hockey Association championships. He was an alternate captain from 1953-55 and captain in 1955-56. He led the Rams in scoring in 1955-56, won the D.H. Craighead Award for Greatest Contribution to Athletics and tied for the Ryerson Gold Medal that year. He also established intramural hockey at Ryerson in 1955 and served on the Athletic Directorate.
In 1959, Ron became Head Coach of the Rams for the next five seasons. During this time, he led the 1962-63 team to an undefeated season and the OIAA championship.Ron holds the distinction of being inducted twice into the Ryerson Athletics Hall of Fame. In 2003 he was inducted in the Athlete category for his leading role as a player on the three successive 1953-56 COHA championship teams. In 2012 along with the entire 1962-63 Rams OIAA Championship team, he was inducted into the Team category.
As in his playing days, he carried over a lot of his mischievous “boy in the man” character into his coaching days. He loved a good team prank as well as the occasional dust up and relished retelling his tales during Alumni events – even well into his 70’s.
Two are worthy of recall for posterity …
In the early 60’s games, a small group of Waterloo fans would sit behind the Rams bench and direct unpleasantries at the team throughout the game. The remarks were generally most impolite. A further issue was that Ron and the Waterloo Coach had crossed paths during their Junior playing days and remained frosty.
After a game, which the Rams won – and after much heckling from the group throughout the game – as Ron was leaving the bench, he noticed the referee had picked up the frozen pucks from the ice bucket and left the bucket on the bench. Ron went over, picked up the bucket and threw the ice at the fans.
Rather than cool them off as he had perhaps hoped, the fans came running down to ice level challenging Ron to a dust up. Ron called to the trainer to run to the dressing room and get the team. Before the players got there, the Waterloo Coach entered in the fray – not on the fans’ side but on Ron’s. Together they chased the fans away.
In the 60’s, the team traveled to games on the old Ryerson bus – which was really a high school bus painted blue. Unlike to-day’s modern buses, it lacked facilities. During long trips along 401, when nature called, Ron would ask the driver to pull over and the team would line up along side the bus to relieve nature’s call.
One time when the entire team was lined up along side the bus on a busy 401,he told the driver to pull ahead. This left 19 players standing there – lined up in a perfect row on 401 relieving nature’s call as honking cars drove by. When the players got back on the bus, one asked Ron “Why did you do that” ? He replied, “I’m not the one driving the bus”.
Ron graduated in Architectural Technology from Ryerson in 1956 and went on to form Scarcello Developments a successful construction company in Toronto for over 40 years.
As a player he played a big role in transforming Ryerson’s hockey team into a respected intercollegiate program. As a coach, he helped transform many Ryerson student-athletes from boys to men and develop the type of character, self confidence and swagger that comes with being a Ryerson Ram along the way. We were privileged to have had the opportunity to play with and for him.
Our sincere condolences go out to his wife Marjorie, children Sharon, Karen, Dan, Cindy and Bryan as well as his 11 grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
Submitted by: John Taylor, #20: 62-65 Rams, with assistance from the Ryerson University Archives.