Former Cumberland Valley, Bishop McDevitt football coach Tim Rimpfel dies at 73
Written by: Big 33 Staff on September 22, 2021.
Tim Rimpfel was Brad Zell’s first call after every Boiling Springs Bubblers football game.
Rimpfel was a legendary coaching figure, particularly in central Pa., where he led Bishop McDevitt and Cumberland Valley to multiple district titles, and helped the Eagles capture the 1992 state title. Along the way, the Rimpfel coaching tree sprouted roots, too, with Zell among several that followed his lead into program-leading gigs.
Rimpfel, 73, died Tuesday, according to a statement by Cumberland Valley, leaving those who knew him grieving but also remembering the enormous impact he made on so many lives.
“I’m not sure (who I’ll call now),” Zell said. “It won’t be easy. When you hold someone to as high of a standard as I held him … there’s a big hole.
“I loved that guy,” he added. “He was a helluva mentor and a helluva guy.”
No cause of death was given.
Rimpfel, a 1965 Bishop McDevitt graduate, has a legacy that stretches across 43 seasons of high school football and the demands of being a successful student-athlete. He not only emphasized commitment on the field, he championed a strong work ethic in the classroom and in the community as a longtime educator and mentor, those who knew him said.
Zell credited Rimpfel with pushing him into becoming a head coach, and when he took the job at Boiling Springs in 2018, Rimpfel joined his staff as an assistant for two seasons.
“He loved the game of football,” Zell said. “And he took time to teach you, whether you were a player or a coach. I got to learn from the very best, and not everybody has that opportunity. It’s very important to me to carry on things he taught me.”
Through his relationships at Trinity, where he also coached, Bishop McDevitt and Cumberland Valley, Rimpfel helped bolster the caliber and quality of the Mid-Penn Conference.
Countless former assistant coaches, including Joe Headen, Josh Oswalt, Zell and more are now continuing his legacy as head coaches in the MPC. Former Cumberland Valley coach and current Shippensburg University assistant Michael Whitehead remembered Rimpfel as a “father figure.”
“I learned so much from him,” Whitehead said, his voicing breaking at times. “I learned how to run a team, and all of those little things you think back on that mold you as a person.
“I’m just very fortunate.”
Rimpfel went 307-100-3 in his career, leading Cumberland Valley to nine District 3 titles over 24 seasons and the 1992 PIAA Class 4A title, a 28-12 victory over Upper St. Clair, at Altoona’s Mansion Park Stadium.
He is one of only 11 coaches in Pennsylvania is eclipse the 300-win mark.
“He was a passionate, old-school football coach,” Whitehead said. “He expected discipline, not only on the field but off the field, too. His record speaks for itself. You can’t question his results.
“It just hits you,” he said. “It’s just sad that it’s the end.”