For more than a quarter century, Ron Williams Sr. has coached boxers of all ages at the Muscatine Boxing Club (MBC).
What started as a way for Williams to help his son improve at boxing eventually became a career for him. Now, after helping countless boxers develop their skills and self-confidence, the USA Boxing Iowa Amateur Boxing Hall of Fame (IABHF) has inducted Williams for his outstanding coaching skills.
When Williams’ oldest son got interested in boxing, Williams took him to practices at the MBC and helped him train on the side. Coaches quickly noticed that Williams’ at home coaching really helped his son, so they asked Williams to help them condition other athletes. The routines that Williams developed worked for other boxers too, and when a spot on the MBC coaching staff opened up, Williams took it.
In his more than thirty years with the MBC, Williams has coached boxers of all ages and skill levels, and many have gone on to compete and win. No matter how long he has coached, Williams still loves watching his students push themselves to do better and grow into successful boxers. He shared he enjoys, “seeing somebody come in who didn’t know they could box . . . train and then enter competitions and win.” Along with their growing success, Williams most values watching his boxers become confident, independent individuals able to skillfully deal with whatever life presents them, both in and out of the ring.
In addition to his duties helping his students develop their boxing prowess, Williams also champions the MBC and the sport of boxing, working to change the community’s perception of it. He elaborated, “the hardest part [of coaching] is getting the community behind [boxing].” Williams found that many people considered boxing just fighting. In his experience though, boxing, like all other sports, builds self-esteem, helps participants stay fit, channels their competitive energy in a positive direction, and teaches them important life lessons. Through his efforts, more and more people in Muscatine understand that boxing has every bit as much value to young people as other sports do.
Through his coaching and advocacy, Williams has done much for local athletes and boxing in general. For these reasons, the IABHF inducted him as an outstanding coach. When Williams learned of the award, he felt every bit as amazed as he did honored. “It was a surprise to even get the honor. I never [coached] because I wanted that kind of recognition. I started because I enjoyed it and the program needed help, and now, more than thirty years later, I’m still doing it.”
Even now, Williams plans to keep coaching as long as he can. In fact, Williams has not kept track of how long he has coached with the MBC because he knows he will do it for the long haul. “I stopped counting [the years] because I knew this was where I was going to be,” he said. With any luck, boxers in Muscatine will continue to train with Williams for many more seasons.