WHS BOYS' BASKETBALL: WHS’s boys’ bball coach Ron Vorwald doesn’t coach for awards or recognitionWORTHINGTON — For Worthington’s boys’ basketball coach Ron Vorwald, the last 23 years of coaching the Trojans have not been about awards or wins.
WORTHINGTON — For Worthington’s boys’ basketball coach Ron Vorwald, the last 23 years of coaching the Trojans have not been about awards or wins. Winning this year’s Section 3AA and Class AA Minnesota Basketball Coaches Association’s (MBCA) coach of the year award is not where Vorwald sees the results of his countless hours of work come to fruition.
Vorwald sees it when he mows the lawn.
“The one true thing I love about coaching is the relationships you build with your players and how much fun it is to be mowing your front yard and have former players stop by just to talk,” Vorwald said. “You hear from all those guys that you coached in the past and those relationships are the reasons why coaches love coaching.
“You get a chance to mold guys into a cohesive unit and bring them together as a family and try to accomplish things. I think I love that challenge the most.”
Vorwald was awarded the state coach of the year for the first time by the MBCA for leading his Trojans to the Class AA state tournament and finishing the season in the state quarterfinals with a 21-7 record.
“It’s humbling,” Vorwald said. “The first thing I thought of was how blessed I’ve been having such great kids over the years; not only good players, but good people.
“The best part about receiving the award is I was selected by fellow coaches and my peers.”
Vorwald is a soft-spoken man, but when the discussion turns to coaching, his face lights up. For Vorwald, there was no other destination for life, but the sidelines.
“I knew I wanted to coach since I was in high school,” Vorwald said. “I admired my high school coaches. I played football in college and the passion grew even stronger because I had a lot of good college coaches I looked up to.”
The hardest thing for an athlete to do is to let go of the sports one has put their entire being behind. Vorwald never let go.
“Once your playing days are over, you still have those competitive juices flowing and this is a way you can stay in the game and compete,” Vorwald said.
The seasons may end for a coach, but the learning never stops.
“It’s a profession where when you’re younger you think you know it all, but you don’t know anything,” Vorwald said. “You never stop learning when you’re coaching. It’s never-ending.”
Vorwald found a way to reach his team this season.
“He pushes us and he knows what he’s talking about,” WHS shooting guard Lucas Henning said. “We learned a lot of discipline from him.
“He’s demanding and we responded by giving him our best every day.”
Even when having a chance to sit down and take in what the honor of coach of the year in the entire state means, Vorwald couldn’t help but list people and places he feels he owes.
“I’m indebted to a guy by the name of Don Basche,” Vorwald said.
Basche coached Worthington for 28 years, retiring in 1989.
“He retired and gave me the opportunity to be a head coach,” Vorwald said. “I’m indebted to Basche and the town of Worthington for actually making my dream come true.
“Basketball was always my true love and I’m actually living a dream.”
Daily Globe Sports Editor Chris Murphy can be reached at 376-7328.