Early on in Ron Brown’s experience as a racquetball player, he played a young hotshot teenager named Sherman Greenfeld. That’s when Brown decided that his contribution to the sport of racquetball lay in coaching as opposed to playing.
He knew that he was probably never going to be as good as the likes of Greenfeld but he could coach them to be better.
From 1986 through to his retirement from coaching in 2011, athletes coached by Brown won 25 national racquetball titles. Among the athletes Brown guided to national and international glory were Greenfeld – a two-time World and 10-time Canadian singles champion and 2001 Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame inductee – and five-time national singles and seven-time doubles champion Jennifer Saunders, the top two racquetball players in Manitoba history. Brown, who also coached two-time Canadian singles champ and Pan American Championships gold medallist Kris Odegard and Canadian singles champ Corey Osborne, is particularly proud of the fact he coached both Greenfeld and Saunders into the singles finals at the World Championships with Greenfeld winning gold in 1998 while Saunders brought home silver in 2002.
Born in Halifax on May 29, 1955, Brown moved to Winnipeg in 1973 and learned to play racquetball in 1978. He started coaching in 1983 with Team Manitoba at the Canada Games. The following year, he earned his first of many Canadian national team coaching assignments, helping Canada to gold and two silver medals at the World Championships in Sacramento, Calif. It was the first of nine senior or junior World Championships with Brown on the coaching staff with a total medal haul of seven gold, 26 silver and 16 bronze medals in individual and team competition. A Level 5 racquetball coach since 2001 and Level 3 International Racquetball Federation official, Brown also led Canada to success at five Tournament of the Americas, four Pan Am Championships and the 1999 Pan American Games in Winnipeg.
A past president of Coaches of Canada national coaching association, Brown earned the 1996 Racquetball Manitoba Vincent Award for outstanding service to racquetball in Manitoba and was a four-time recipient of the Petro Canada Sportif Coaching Excellence Award (1998, 2002, 2006 and 2008) for coaching athletes at World Championships.
He served as Managing Director of Racquetball Canada from 2003 to 2007 and was president of Manitoba Racquetball Association in the mid-1980’s and Technical Director from 1989 to 1995. The former National Training Centre Coach for Racquetball Canada in Winnipeg, Brown coached numerous junior programs including Racquetball Manitoba’s High Performance Program from 2000 to 2008.
In 2010, Brown became President and CEO of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Winnipeg.