Tab Ramos ’88 was shocked when he learned that he would be one of 10 people in the inaugural class of the new NC State Athletics Hall of Fame.
Ramos knew that he had accomplished plenty on the field, having been named an All-American three times during his days playing soccer for NC State.
But that a soccer player would be included in the first class, along with such NC State icons as David Thompson, Everett Case and Kay Yow? That’s what was so surprising to Ramos.
“I feel very proud at this point that I carry that flag a little bit, that I’ve been able to bring soccer and the people of North Carolina together,” he told us in a recent interview. “With this honor, it puts soccer in a different light than it was before.”
Ramos was a highly touted player from New Jersey when he decided to play college soccer at NC State. After leaving NC State, Ramos went on to play soccer at the highest levels. He was on three World Cup teams, was named the U.S. Soccer Federation Athlete of the Year in 1990 and is a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame. He is now the head coach for the U-20 men’s national soccer team.
But Ramos said he struggled when he first arrived at NC State. “There had been a lot of expectations for me since I was the national high school player of the year,” he says. “The first few games were difficult.”
But then Ramos scored the winning goal in a game against Maryland. “That was the first time I really felt that I was part of NC State, that I was contributing,” he says.
Ramos says his coaches at NC State – particularly longtime head coach George Tarantini – favored the sort of attacking game that Ramos enjoyed. “He was my type of coach,” Ramos says. “A lot of other coaches are very conservative. It fit my style and helped me get to the next level.”
Ramos is looking forward to Friday’s induction ceremony.
“I’m very happy and can’t wait to get down there and see people again,” he says. “It’s an incredible honor for me.”