Coach receives education award

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes Ron Hittner continued a legacy with his selection for the Keizer Chamber of Commerce’s Service to Education Award. Hittner thanked and honored his father, Gene (and mother, Patty), who was selected for the same award in 1991 for his work in the community as principal of Parrish Middle School. “Basketball has always been a passion,” Hittner said. “And I learned it by tagging along with my dad when he was a coach. I couldn’t have had better role models or better parents.” Basketball ended up becoming Hittner’s avenue into working with youth and he’s only rarely taken a break in more than two decades. He started out coaching at Parrish, but took up the role again as a coach for Keizer Youth Basketball Association and served as president for several years. Since then, he’s held roles as assistant coach at Corban University, an organizer and coach of the Mid-Valley Monarchs, and now the head coach of the Blanchet Catholic School girls teams. In each role, Hittner has tried to stay true to the teachings of his dad. “It was my dad who taught me that coaching is teaching. He made sure his players were good students and good people first and then good basketball players,” Hittner said. Basketball provides opportunities for athletes to pick up skills in everything from listening to respect...

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