Officials at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (NEO) announced Rod Kramer as the recipient of this year’s Outstanding Retired Faculty honoree. Kramer will be formally honored during the Alumni Awards luncheon on Saturday, Sept. 24, at noon in the Calcagno Family Ballroom. All alumni and friends of the college are invited to attend. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children ages 12 and under, and may be purchased by contacting the NEO Development Foundation office at 918-540-6115. NEO’s “Greatest Homecoming on Earth” festivities will take place on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016.
Kramer came to NEO in 1972 to join the football coaching staff of Coach Rube Berry. Kramer worked as a football coach until Berry left, but also coached men’s and women’s track and field from 1972 to 1986. He earned his undergraduate degree at Southwest Missouri State University (now Missouri State University) and his Master’s Degree from Central Missouri State University (now University of Central Missouri). He also completed postgraduate work in Russian at Pittsburg State University and the University of Kansas. After coaching in St. Joseph, Mo., Kramer joined the small NEO Football coaching squad in 1972. There, he and his wife JoAnn and their children Kirk, Kelly, and Kristen formed close ties to the other coaching families. Kramer also met frequently with coach Red Robertson to discuss not only football, but also European history. Kramer oversaw the expansion of the track and field program to include both men and women. Kramer also taught American and World History until he retired in 2002, and after leaving the track team in 1986, he was able to expand his course offerings to include a survey in Russian history. In the spring of 1988 he and then department chair Dr. George Largent travelled to Russia on an eight-day education trip.
Rod and his wife are dedicated NEO supporters as well as Friends of the Coleman Theatre and Friends of the Library. According to Kramer, coaching brought his family here, but the love of NEO and Miami kept them here. They are regulars at NEO games and can frequently be found exercising at the NEO Student Activities Center. “As a former history instructor and football coach at NEO A&M, Rod Kramer impacted the lives of countless students in the classroom and athletes on the field,” says Jennifer Hessee, executive director of the NEO Development Foundation. “Today he and his wife, JoAnn, remain loyal NEO supporters and are a mainstay in the stands cheering on NEO athletes.”