The untimely death of Brett Ringer on July 19, 2001 removed one of the hardest working and polite students from this earth. But even though he may have been taken from us at the age of 24, Brett will never be forgotten.
James Brett Ringer started working for the Clemson Football team as a volunteer during his freshman year of 1995. After helping the coaching staff scout opponents for a season he was asked by then Director of Video Services John Ballanger if he would like to work with the video staff. Brett agreed and that started a tenure that lasted until his death.
It is impossible to put into words the type of person Brett was or what he meant to the video department staff. Brett was a leader by example, an extremely hard worker and maybe the quietest person you had ever met. If Brett spoke it was important. But he didn’t have to say a word to be a leader.
Brett was a dedicated worker. He was always willing to work, no matter how early, how late or how long. He never settled for second best. When he did a job he did it right. When it came time to teach a new student Brett did this by example.
Brett was the team leader on the video department staff. He made sure all the students were prepared daily. He fixed equipment when it broke and he made sure students were in the correct place when a coach changed the practice plan. Brett took care of countless number of problems during his tenure. It would be impossible to list all the things he fixed or organized while working for Clemson.
But for someone who worked so hard, fixed so many things and organized so many people, Brett hardly ever spoke a word. A black belt in karate and an avid body builder, Brett could have taken on many a foe and won. But this was not his personality. Brett was quiet and humble. If you were able to get a cross word out of his mouth you had done something extremely wrong.
Brett was killed one day before ending his summer job with a fireworks company. Shooting fireworks at baseball games and outdoor events was a hot, hard and tiring job. Just the type of work Brett liked. Static electricity ignited a box of fireworks and subsequently took him from us way too early. But the legacy he left behind should be what every student strives to be - a hard working, polite person.
In memory of Brett, his friends have created the James Brett Ringer Memorial
Award. This award will be presented annually to the student videographer,
manager, trainer or weight room staff that most exemplifies Brett’s
work ethic and manners. The first recipient will be announced this Spring.