Ruth Lawanson Joins Air Force Volleyball Staff
July 29, 2008
USAF ACADEMY, Colo. - Ruth Lawanson, a former member of the U.S. National Team and head coach of Angelo State University, has agreed to become an assistant coach on the Air Force volleyball staff, head coach Penny Lucas-White announced Tuesday (July 29). Details of the contract are still being worked out and are currently going through the Academy process.
Lawanson brings a wealth of knowledge to the Falcons' program backed by experience at the collegiate, national and international levels. She joins the Academy staff after spending three years as the head volleyball coach at Angelo State University at the NCAA Division II level. Prior to her stint at ASU, Lawanson was an assistant coach at Fresno State and Purdue.
A setter and hitter during her storied playing career, Lawanson was a member of the 1992 U.S. Olympic team that won the bronze medal at the Barcelona games. She spent four seasons with the U.S. National Team, including stints on the 1991 World Cup squad that earned a bronze medal in Japan and the 1990 World Championships team that won a bronze medal in China. She was also honored with the national team's 1991 Judy Bellomo Players Award won a gold medal with the 1992 U.S. Olympic Festival West Region team.
Prior to her time on the national squad, Lawanson played with the Dallas Belles and the Minnesota Monarchs of the Major Volleyball League from 1987-89 and was the league MVP in 1988. In 1989, she earned USVBA All-America honors with the national champion Crysler Californians club team. She resumed her professional career in 1992, playing three years in Italy and France.
At the collegiate level, Lawanson was one of the greatest players in Fresno State history, becoming the first Bulldog ever to earn NCAA Division I All-America honors as a senior in 1984. She was a three-time team MVP for the Bulldogs (1982-84) and still holds their career records for kills (962) and season records for kills (488) and services aces (55). Her senior year, Lawanson guided FSU to a 26-13 record and a fifth-place finish at the NCAA Tournament. For her efforts she was named NorPac co-Player of the Year, first team All-NorPac and earned All-Northwest Region honors. At the conclusion of her FSU playing career, Lawanson became the first female athlete in the history of Fresno State to have her jersey retired. Her other FSU accolades include the 1984 Rosa Parks award and designation as the 1984-85 Female Athlete of the Year.
Lawanson replaces Kyle Robinson, who left the program in July.