London High School basketball coach Ron Lawver has enjoyed two great careers: one in the military, and the other in high school athletics.
For Lawver, being in the military was always a dream -- in fact, he spent 22 years in the U.S. Army. But he had another dream, as well, and that was to be a high-school football and basketball coach. He is doing that right now at London.
He has spent the last 10 years coaching at London, leading his team to the boys regional basketball tournament a couple of weeks ago.
Coaching, he said, was always a goal of his.
In 1990, Lawver was a senior at Taft High School, and a multi-sport athlete. He loved sports, but after watching an Army recruiting film, that was the life he wanted.
1st Sgt. Ron Lawver traveled all over the world: He saw action in Bosnia, where he led foot patrol, calling it the most dangerous mission of his career.
Still, he says that was not the most difficult part of his deployment.
"Just maintaining that lifestyle, but also be a dad and husband -- that was pretty tough,” he said. “I have been married over 30 years. Married my high-school sweetheart, so for her to be the foundation while I was gone was really helpful. But when you’re deployed in Korea for a year and Bosnia for a long time, and away from your family, it's tough."
Now, as a coach, he is using all the tools he learned in the Army to help him lead his players, such as discipline, leadership and preparation.
"In the military you had to make sure your soldiers were right, and they were mentally prepared for whatever you were executing the next day and had to make sure your game plan was right,” he said. “Whether it’s football, basketball, or preparing for a deployment or a field maneuver, you still had to prepare."
That's one of the many reasons of why Lawver has helped bring great success to the London Athletics Program, a place he now calls home.