Ranger College

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Ranger College
Ranger College sign, Ranger, TX IMG 6442.JPG
Ranger College in Ranger, Texas
Type Community college
Established 1926
President Dr. Bill Campion
Undergraduates 2279 (as of Fall 2016)
Location Ranger, Texas, United States
32°27′32″N 98°40′57″W / 32.458814°N 98.682502°W / 32.458814; -98.682502Coordinates: 32°27′32″N 98°40′57″W / 32.458814°N 98.682502°W / 32.458814; -98.682502
Campus Rural, 50 acres
Colors Purple and white          
Nickname Rangers
Website www.rangercollege.edu
Ranger College.jpg

Ranger College is a community college located in Ranger, Texas, a small town 90 miles (140 km) west of Fort Worth, Texas. The college's website asserts that it "is one of the oldest public two-year colleges in continuous operation in the state of Texas."[1] In conjunction with its main campus in Ranger, the college maintains several satellite campuses across Erath County and Brown County, Texas. Ranger College provides dual-credit courses to over 30 area school districts. The main campus is located at 1100 College Circle, Ranger, TX 76470.

As defined by the Texas State Legislature, the official service area of Ranger College is the following:[2]


Jack Elsom Administration Building

The school opened on September 13, 1926 with thirty students. The State Department of Education recognized it on March 23, 1927. Ranger College was a governed by the public school system until August 18, 1950, when the Board of Education separated junior colleges. The school thereafter has been governed independently by a Board of Regents and its own presidents, of which Dr. G. C. Boswell was the first.

In 2010, Ranger College opened campuses in Early and Stephenville, Texas.

Ranger College is accredited as a degree-granting institution by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

In 2011, Ranger College, along with Frank Phillips College in Borger, Brazosport College in Lake Jackson, and Odessa College in Odessa, were proposed for closure by the State of Texas. The Texas Association of Community Colleges rallied successfully to keep the four institutions open. In a letter to Texas House Speaker Joe Straus of San Antonio and Jim Pitts of Waxahachie, then the chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, TAAC leaders referred to state budget restrictions at the time:

Community colleges are fully aware of the state's budget crisis, and we understand that we will have to bear our share of the budget pain. We pledge to work with you to reach a fair and equitable solution ... the decision to close these four colleges is unfair and inequitable in that it appears to be arbitrary and ill-advised. We stand in support of our sister colleges, and we look forward to a productive debate ...[3]

The 2011 proposal to close the schools was not adopted, and Ranger College continued to receive state funding. Since then, student enrollment at Ranger College has increased almost every year:

Term Total Enrollment
Fall 2011 1736
Fall 2012 1928
Fall 2013 1893
Fall 2014 2032
Fall 2015 2066
Fall 2016 2279

In November 2016, the city of Ranger voted to approve a $10 million bond to provide new buildings and renovations across campus. [4] Construction is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2017 and be completed approximately 18 months later.


Ron Butler Gymnasium

Ranger College's athletic teams are nicknamed the Rangers. The Rangers compete in men's and women's basketball, baseball, softball, cross country running, golf, rodeo, soccer, and volleyball.[5] The basketball teams play at Ron Butler Gymnasium. The baseball team plays at Ellis Burks Field, named after Ranger College alumnus and retired Major League Baseball player Ellis Burks.

In 1978 the Ranger College football team won the NJCAA national championship.

In June 2007, Ranger College won the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association men's team title in the College National Finals Rodeo held in Casper, Wyoming.[6] Ranger had only been competing again since 2005, after a 25-year hiatus.[7]

In August 2007, Ranger replaced its football program with men's and women's soccer and men's golf programs. The football team finished the year with a record of 4 wins and 5 losses; the team was unable to compete its schedule due to ineligibility issues.[8]

In 2013 the Ranger College men's soccer team won the NJCAA Region V Championship and participated in the NJCAA Division I national tournament.

In 2015-16 the men's basketball team was twice found to have committed serious violations. The first instance caused them to forfeit four games.[9] The second and more serious violation required them to forfeit all games from the 2015-2016 season [10] and to be placed on probation by the NJCAA for the 2016-17 season, meaning they are barred from any post-season play in 2016-17.[11]

In June 2016, Ranger earned a College National Finals Rodeo championship when sophomore heeler Wesley Thorp won the team roping event, with partner Cole Weeler of Weatherford College.


Former MLB player Jim Morris was drafted out of Ranger College by the Milwaukee Brewers in 1983. Morris' unique journey through professional baseball was depicted in the 2002 Disney film The Rookie.[12]

Other notable figures who graduated from Ranger College include National Football League wide receiver Johnny Perkins and NCAA coach Billy Gillispie, who returned to the school in 2015 as its athletic director and men's head basketball coach.


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