Ratliff shifting focus to coaching after 5 years with Glenville State

All-MEC second team selection in 2019
Published: Jul. 31, 2020 at 9:55 PM EDT
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GLENVILLE, W.Va (WDTV) - The most competitive sport that Gilmer County native Austin Ratliff will be able to play from now on is... golf.

After spending five years at Glenville State College in four playing seasons for the Pioneers, Ratliff’s college football days are over, and the homegrown receiver can look back with pride.

“Really before me there weren’t too many athletes that went to the college level [from Gilmer County High School],” Ratliff said. “That makes it pretty special when you come from a small town. No one ever thinks a small town can make it in college sports or be successful. It’s pretty cool to prove people wrong in that aspect to be able to do decent from a small town.”

Ratliff was more than just decent during his senior campaign in 2019. He was a second team all-MEC selection as a kick returner, leading the conference with an average of 30 yards per return for -- yards and two touchdowns. That production came, though, after a pretty rough 2018. Right before what was supposed to be his senior season in 2018, Ratliff broke his shoulder blade during the team’s final scrimmage.

“It took almost two months for it to heal all the way so that pretty much took that season out, he said. “I was down in the dumps and i really didn’t even want to come back. My parents talked me into coming back to school. It almost got the better of me, but I’m glad there was some good people in my life that steered me in the right direction.”

Ratliff was happy to have the extra year in school. He switched his major from physical education to athletic conditioning and coaching during his junior year, and needed the extra time to complete his courses.

“It was honestly perfect the way it worked out. Kinda ironic i got hurt helped me finish my classes and still had a scholarship that whole time,”he said.

While Ratliff is looking to get a full time job at the Federal Bureu of Prisons, he wants to put his college degree to use by possibly returning to his old stomping grounds and becoming a high school coach.

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