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Danny Rumph
Tribute Page

Parkway HS '01

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Click here for info on Rumph Foundation.

    Daniel "Danny" Rumph, the starting point guard for Western Kentucky and
a former star at Parkway High and Maine Central Institute, passed May 8, 2005,
after playing in a pickup game at his second home, Mallery RC.
    An only child, he is survived by his parents, Daniel and Viola "Candy", along
with other family members and loving friends.
   Danny had one year remaining at Western Kentucky, where twice he was named
the team's most improved player.
   We welcome your comments about Danny, and they'll be posted below.
   Please e-mail them to silaryt@phillynews.com.
   Also, we will gladly post other pictures. Those may also be sent to the same e-mail
     Thank you very much.

Contributions . . .

I've known Danny since we were in 6th grade and grew up playing ball with him. It's terrible news,
he was a great guy, never got into any trouble, can't think of anyone at Mallery that didn't like
or admire him. His autographed photo from WKU is on the wall at Mallery and he was looked
up to by most of the kids at the rec center. He would come back in the summers and volunteer
at Mallery's basketball camp as well.
-- Kieran Leary

I always admired Danny and his "give it all" attitude.  Prayers and condolences go out to his
parents and family, you will always be a part of WKU and always a Hilltopper.

It always hurts to see a good young man leave us so soon. I talked to
Danny in passing every once in while, whenever I traveled up to my old
school (Parkway) or running into him at different spots throughout the
neighborhood. He was always a cool person to talk to and always struck
me as a decent young man full of talent. He'll go down as one of the
best players to ever come through Parkway and after talking with
teachers and former players...one thing that's agreed is that he will
never be forgotten. My prayers are with his family.
Charles Hardy
Parkway c/o 1998

My thoughts and prayers are with Danny's family and friends.  I feel privileged to have watched him play basketball on the Hill in Bowling Green these three years.  He will be greatly missed.
Kyle Bearden
GIS Manager
City of Bowling Green

In my circle of friends a guy gave Danny the nickname, Mr. Danny Rumph. It was given in respect of his defensive ability, but it's fitting otherwise. Danny was a quiet, composed gentleman in every sense of the word. A living embodiment of the Western Kentucky University spirit that's famous on the Bowling Green campus. That extra thing that few people possess and the rest of us admire.
His work ethic was evident in his performance on the court and in the classroom. I was privileged to watch Danny play in Diddle Arena for nearly every home game of his collegiate career. I never once saw him arguing, fighting, showboating, or loafing. He was a sportsman who practiced good sportsmanship and a player young players could look up to.
I pray for his family, friends, and teammates. There's a void in Western Kentucky, there's a void in Philadelphia, and there's a void among the good people of this world at the passing of Danny Rumph. May he rest in peace.
Travis S. Renfrow
American Bank & Trust, Co.

Danny was a special young man, the epitome of a Western Kentucky Hilltopper.   He embodied team first thinking, self-improvement (he was TWICE named Most Improved Hilltopper), and 110 % effort on the court.   Never a flashy player, or one who sought the spotlight, he was just Danny Rumph, the steady guy you could depend upon when you needed him.  He was a great clutch player, one that you expected to do great things when the game was on the line.   I knew Danny only as a long-time Western fan, but from everything else I have heard about him, he was an exemplary young man off the court as well.   The Western family will miss him.   Our prayers are with his family and friends.
J Moseley
Brentwood, TN 

It broke my heart when I got the news about Danny. I hated having to
tell my 2 sons that Danny had passed away as they are both huge
Hilltopper fans. Danny Rumph was the consumate class act. He came to
Western under Dennis Felton and played one year for him. When Darrin
Horn was hired Danny didn’t complain because the coach who recruited him
left after one year. He embraced the new coach and style and became a
fan favorite because of his lockdown defense. I did not know Danny
personally but I watched how humble he acted and how he carried himself.
This was a direct reflection on his family. They did a wonderful job
with Danny. He will be sorely missed by the Western Kentucky Hilltopper
family. We are all praying for his family. Many tears have been shed
for this young man and that tells you what we thought of him down here.
Thank you for your tribute to Danny.

David L. Carter
Bowling Green KY

I’m a hard core WKU fan, an HAF member.  I didn’t know Danny personally.  Danny was as good a defender as you could ask for.  He was a warrior on the ball, the best we had.  He scored nearly 10 per game, which is excellent, but the Diddle crowd feeds off defense. Defense is the offense, and “Dr. Umph” Danny is/was the man.  He did what it takes, and was the ultimate stopper.  Some of his dunks rivaled Mr. Elgrace Wilborne’s, his teammate, who had three POD’s on ESPN this last season.  Ask ‘Grace about this man, he’ll tell you the truth.
Please get the word out to Philadelphia, and beyond, that WKU loved Danny, and the Hillopper family is grieving for him and his family.
Our prayers are with you...
Bowling Green, KY

Here's a link to a story about Danny in the Bowling Green Daily News.

Candy, Daniel, and family,
   My heart goes out to your family and the pain you must feel. I recently
lost my daughter to cardiomyophia and I totally understand your shock.
My Angela had no symptoms prior to her passing. Ironically, she also
wore a red # 11 jersey. As a Western fan, I saw many acts of poise by
Danny on the court that never were recorded in the box score. Danny had
such a quiet poise that carried him through a rough transition between
coaches at WKU, and in my estimation made him succeed as a starter. The
other night I was looking through some tapes of games that Danny played
and found the WKU-Virginia game from this past January. If you haven’t
seen that game, I hope you get the chance to seen the effort your son
gave during the overtime period. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen
a player give so much to his team physically and mentally. Thank you
for sharing your son with us here in Kentucky, and I hope I will get to
meet you in person someday.

Jim Conway
Prospect KY

   I'm a WKU alum who has watched WKU basketball games for a long time.
I've seen most of Danny's games since he's been here. We fans like to
think we know these guys just from watching them play, but of course we
don't. We hope they're happy, have lots of friends and are doing well
in school because as alumni, we love our school and want them to love
it too.

   But even though we don't really know them, watching them play basketball
tells you a lot about their character. And after three years of
watching, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Danny Rumph was a fine,
fine young man. He improved noticeably game upon game. He never quit
trying. He was a team player who knew his role, but could come to the
rescue when needed. He never lost his temper or his composure on the
court, even when provoked. You could tell he loved and trusted his
teammates, and you could also tell they loved and trusted him. The
motto for our team this past year was "We Are Family" and Danny
epitomized that every time he stepped on the court.

   Hilltopper fans are proud of their long tradition of excellence in
college basketball. We never forget our heroes. Almost 40 years ago we
lost another great one on Mother's Day when Dwight Smith was killed in a
car accident. We still remember him, and we still talk about him. Just
a few weeks ago we lost another great one, Clarence Martin (whose
graduated from WKU in 1987), and we sitll talk about him. I can assure
you that, 40 years from now, we will still be talking about Danny - with
pride and gratitude that we knew him. God bless and comfort his family,
his teammates and his friends.

-- Valerie Van Eaton

Here's a wonderful collage of Danny . . .
It was posted on www.hilltopperhaven.com

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Words can hardly describe the loss of Danny from the Hilltopper roster.
He was one of the crowd favorites at Western Kentucky. He was an
outstanding player and role model, both on and off the court. He made
us all very proud and represented WKU to the fullest. He'll always be
part of the Hilltopper Nation. We'll never forget the one's we love
and admire. And Danny was one that was highly respected and
appreciated. I pray that God provides his family peace and comfort
during this very trying time.

My heart is crushed...
Eric Coffman
Louisville, KY

I didn't know Danny personally, only as a Western fan who loved to watch
him play. My heart is very heavy and my prayers go out to his family
and to the team. Danny was the type player any coach would want. He
worked hard, harder than anyone else on the team. Danny was a team
player. It was never about his numbers, it was about the “W”. He wasn’t
the fastest player, he didn’t have the best shooting percentage, or the
most flare, he certainly wasn't the biggest player on the team, but
Danny played a crucial role on the team-- he was a hard-nose defender.
He typically would draw the hardest assignment, and did very well
stopping him. Danny won the team’s “Most Improved Player” award, TWICE.
That speaks volumes about his attitude and work ethic. To me, Danny was
everything I’d want in a player. Danny Rumph was a true Hilltopper… and
will always be a Hilltopper. To me that is the highest compliment one
could receive here in Bowling Green. Diddle Arena will be eerily empty
next fall when the team comes out and their is no #11.

Jeff Baynham
Bowling Green, KY

I would like to express my condolences to the family and friends of Danny Rumph. My prayers and thoughts are with you all. I had the pleasure of covering Danny a few times while he played at Parkway. Danny was a terrifc player, but it wasn't just his basketball talents that caught my attention while watching him. I was more intrigued by his demeanor on the court. He always appeared to be the consumate leader and was such a level-headed kid. It is obvious from the letters written by the WKU community that he continued to exhibit these qualities during his time there. The loss of Danny saddens me, and has me wondering why did this happen? Even though I didn't personally know Danny, I do know this. The world is not a better place without him.
-- Ed "Huck" Palmer


Bowling Green, Ky. — Western Kentucky University announced Thursday the establishment of the Danny Rumph Memorial Scholarship Fund in honor of the Hilltopper guard who passed away last weekend.
   In lieu of sending flowers or cards, donations can be made to the scholarship fund — which will provide assistance and encouragement for deserving Western students who exemplify the WKU motto, “The Spirit Makes the Master”, in the same way that Rumph did on a daily basis — that has been created to serve as a memorial to the three-year letterwinner. Donations should be sent to the College Heights Foundation, which is located in the Craig Alumni Center on the Western campus (1 Big Red Way, Bowling Green, KY 42101).
   Plans to hold a memorial service in Bowling Green have been cancelled.
   “Danny’s mom and I agreed that this was the most appropriate means to honor Danny at this time,” WKU head coach Darrin Horn said. “This is the best way for the community to pay their respects because it will serve to continue his memory on the Hill.”
   Rumph appeared in 92 contests in his career on the Hill, starting 33, posting 468 points, 203 assists and 196 rebounds. Last season he averaged a career-best 9.1 points, 3.3 rebounds and three assists per game while starting 29 of his 31 appearances.
   A native of Philadelphia, Rumph was home visiting family after final exams when he collapsed following a pickup basketball game Sunday night. An autopsy later revealed that cardiomyopathy was the cause of death.
   For more information on the Danny Rumph Memorial Scholarship Fund, contact Alex Downing, President of the College Heights Foundation, at 270-745-5266 or alexander.downing@wku.edu.


Yo i knew danny since middle school. We was real cool on and off the
court, and im still messeed up that he is gone. We use to go at it when
we were younger but we was still good friends.  I can't really say too
much cause its still so hard to believe but just wanted to show my
respects and let him and his family know that imma miss him and i know
he will be watching over us.
-- Reese Hargrove


  I really didn't know him personally but all I know he was a good ball
player when I go up Mallery all the time and see his pictures on the
wall in Mr. lee office and I saw him play up at the court he was giving
them work against them whoever that was on the court. I only play
against him one time up Mallery playground one time but it was fun
playing against him we will miss you !


I had the pleasure of being a classmate of Danny at Parkway high school.
He was so friendly and loved by everyone who knew him.  He was definitely
our Parkway Star.  We surely miss Danny and I am was so glad to see so
many people had came out to celebrate Danny's life, because he life will live
on in us forever.  Danny you are surely missed but will never be forgotten. 
Zalika Woods
Parkway c/o 2001


  Danny Rumph was a man's man. He was my favorite basketball player and one of the toughest teammates I ever had the pleasure of guarding. I loved Danny like a brother and I miss him like one. He'll forever be Parkways top scorer and I'll be right under him. I knew Danny on and off the court and he was the epitome of a brighter tomorrow. He lived, he conquered and he will be remembered in my heart and mind as the one who got away! So Danny I love you family, may you and God watch over me and may God bless your family. 
-- Jerome Burt
Parkway Class 2000