K-State fullback 'Rammin' Ralph' from the '30s dies

Updated: October 19, 2005, 2:01 PM ET
Associated Press

HESSTON, Kan. -- Ralph M. Graham, a football star at Kansas State in the 1930s who later coached Wichita State in its first bowl game, has died at 95.

Graham, who lived at the Schowalter Villa in Hesston, died Friday at Newton Medical Center in Newton, said Beverly Baumgartner, chaplain at Schowalter.

Graham, a fullback known as "Rammin' Ralph," was a three-time all-conference choice in the Big Six at Kansas State.

He captained the Wildcats in 1933, and his 196 career points stood as the school record until 1997. He also was a starter in the East-West Shrine all-star game.

Graham also played basketball and tennis at Kansas State, where he graduated in 1934. He got a master's degree from Indiana University, and was an assistant coach there in both football and basketball and head coach of the tennis team. He was the top assistant with the Indiana basketball team that won the Big 10 and NCAA championships in 1940.

In 1942, Graham became head coach and athletic director at Wichita State. After two years in the Navy in World War II, he returned to Wichita State for two more seasons.

The Shockers were 7-4 in 1947 and lost to Pacific in the Raisin Bowl, played in Fresno, Calif.

A memorial service for Graham, who also was head football coach at Kansas State, was held Wednesday at the retirement home.

He is survived by his son, Ralph Jr. of Danville, Ill., six grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press